Tuesday, February 14, 2012

20 Miles, Why I'm Doing This, and Why My Husband Rocks

I'm 14 weeks and 1 day into my marathon training plan. The plan has been adjusted and readjusted due to injuries, illness, an extra half marathon, and just life.

Based on my original plan, I should have ran 402 miles at this point. I've actually ran 265.39. I remember tallying up similar numbers before my first half marathon (ran 112 of 222 planned miles in a 12 week plan). I finished the half marathon but it was painfully awful.

This blog post is a bit on the long side, but what else is new. I'll break it down into the three parts the title mentions.

20 Miles
Yesterday, I ran stumbled my way through my first 20 miler. It was hard. In the two weeks since the half marathon I had ran a whopping 13 miles, but I knew I needed to get 20 done to get back on track with attempted training.
Beautiful day, beautiful scenery. 7.5 miles. Still feeling good.

My first 9 miles were pretty good. I was feeling strong and confident. I knew I was going to get this done. It was about 32 degrees but the sun was warm and the sky was blue. I started out a little fast, but I was just taking it mile by mile. I had planned on going out between 5 and 8 miles depending on how I was feeling and then back to swap water bottles, and then out and back again for the remainder. While running I decided I did not want to have go back out again so I ended up doing a 10 mile out and back. I knew my husband was going to drive by and check on me at some point so he could switch out the water bottles for me.

At mile 7, I decided to make a left instead of going straight and repeating more of my 18 mile route because I was still traumatized from that run. This was a bad choice. It added more hills I just did not need. My legs were pretty trashed by mile 10. I took gels at mile 4, 8, 12, and 16. I stopped each time for a minute to take the gel and to stretch my calves and feet as my plantar fasciitis was hurting pretty bad. By mile 14, I was adding in extra stops to stretch more. I never stopped my watch so that's why my moving time and moving pace are significantly different than my total time and total pace.
Like my mad paint skills?

My husband did swap out my water bottles for me, and then I did end up calling him to come swap them one more time when I was really thirsty in the last six miles. I knew he was worried about me when he found me walking with no intent to start running. But I did run again. I ran until my legs just couldn't run a single step, and then I walked. I tried to convince myself it didn't hurt. Just walking, putting one foot in front of the other, had me in so much pain I was near tears. But each time, I started to run again. I knew I would finish this. Quitting wasn't an option.

In comparison to the horrid 18 miles in 9 degrees, I was stronger mentally. I knew I had to keep going even when I didn't know how I'd do that. I just knew I had to and I would. The pain was far worse than the 18 miles, but my head fought the battle for my legs. As I stumbled the last few steps to my driveway where my amazing husband was waiting for me, I moaned in pain. I cried. I declared marathon training as stupid. I said I never wanted to do that ever again. The process of getting in the house, up the stairs, and into an ice bath was excruciating. I cried, I yelled, and I moaned a lot. Seriously. The pain. No joke.

I text Kristie, the person who started me on this running journey with this kind message:  
I kind of hate you right now. Marathon training sucks.

Why I'm Glad I'm Doing This
Today, I'm still in pretty significant pain. My plantar fasciitis is angry. My left knee is rather unhappy. And every other muscle in my legs are crying. With the training I've done and with the paces I'm not hitting on these long runs, I'm not sure I'm going to finish this marathon. Yes, I know I need to get in the mindset that I am. That will come. But for now, a moment of honesty. I'm not sure I'll finish in the time limit (5 hours 30 minutes from the time the last runner crosses the start. I just might be that obnoxious person starting in a too fast corral just for the extra head start from the sag wagon that will pick me up if I'm not keeping minimum pace.





That's why I'm doing this. Because it is so damn hard I'm not sure if I can actually do it. Because while life gets in the way and I don't get to train or prepare in a perfect world, that's true of everything. Life ain't perfect, it ain't easy, but I'm still going to do it. Fighting depression isn't perfect, easy, or fun, but I'm still doing it. I might not finish this. Hell, I'm not even sure my plantar fasciitis is going to let me get to the starting line. But damn it all if I'm not going to give it everything I've got. I'm not afraid of failing. That's how big this goal is. I am not afraid of failing. This is worth the risk. I am worth the risk.

Kristie texted me this morning, So. You're pretty mad right now?

Kristie, no, I'm not mad. I am so thankful for you, your support, and your inspiration. I am thankful for the courage you've given me. The courage to do and try things I never imagined I could do. The courage to risk failure. I am thankful for someone who knows how hard this is and how much it hurts, but also how much its worth.

Why My Husband Rocks
Last week when I was so frustrated about this damn marathon and my lack of training and wondering if it was even a good idea my husband and I had this conversation.


Me: I should not even attempt this. I'm not ready. There's no way I can do train enough in the next 5 weeks.
Husband: Yes you can.
Me: No, I'm totally under trained. If I did the work, I could do this but I haven't.
Husband: You said the same thing about your first half marathon.
Me: And it was awful and I nearly died.
Husband: Well yea, but you finished. Here's the deal. You pick a training schedule and think you're going to be able to fit it in X amount of weeks because that's what everyone else does. We don't have everyone else's life so you can't. Then you end up where you are now but you finish. Then the next time around you are stronger and more aware of the time you need and what you need to do. So, you just need to get through this really miserable one so you can start training for the next one.
Me: (stunned silence)
Husband: And yes, this means I've come to terms with the fact that there will be another marathon.
Me: Well, I'm glad one of us has.


He's right. And the fact that he's willing to support me through this not just once but twice astounds me. He's pretty awesome. Happy Valentine's Day, love.

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