Back in 2013, one of my high school friends asked if I wanted to run a half-marathon with him. He was coming out of a marriage and that meant a transformation for him. Half out of curiosity and half out of support, I agreed to run the race with him. I found an app for my newly acquired smartphone to guide me through the training process. And I ran.
After running the race, I remember saying that I never had plans of running that distance ever again. The distance seemed and felt insurmountable at the time. Plus, why would I run that far? I didn’t need to. Oh how wrong I was, apparently.
This time around, I didn’t have a friend asking me to run. No one suggested it. No one was at a distance training for a marathon and I felt like I was missing out. I don’t really know where the desire came from but I just decided to do it. How long could 26.2 miles really be?
Of course running a marathon didn’t come completely out of left field. Sometime early in the pandemic I started using my lunch time to exercise. It felt like I hadn’t run in years but I slowly built up my mileage without it being unbearable. I’d alternate days of running and biking. It got easier. I got faster. I lost weight. Running and biking became an addiction. Ten miles biking every other day and four and a half miles running. Each day, the same path. In the winter, when it was too cold and icy to be outside, I used the elliptical for my lunches. Exercise kept me going through the pandemic, keeping my mind organized and stimulated. I was in a rhythm.
Then, a week or so ago the rhythm broke. Or something. Something happened on a run and I cannot figure out what exactly. I was suddenly bored of running the exact same running route. I knew that if I kept on that path for the remainder of the summer, I might walk away from running for another seven years. I didn’t want to do that. What I needed was something to run for, some sort of goal to keep those feet moving beneath me.
So eventually, I figured out what that something was and I brought it to Ellie for discussion. We have a local marathon coming in November, so it wouldn’t be out of the way for me to run it. However, the amount of training required to be prepared to wake up and run 26.2 miles one day will become a burden and I wanted to make sure that she was okay with me spending that time. After a couple days of thought on it, I registered for the race.
Yesterday was day one of training and it felt like a step backwards because I only had to run three miles. I found a running plan from Runners Weekly so I can shoot for a sub-4:00 pace during the race. I’m hoping this plan is a little better than that app I used for the half marathon. Some of the later training weeks get intense but the first few weeks are a lot lighter. Right now, I’m pretty antsy for those longer, more intense runs. One of the reasons I wanted to run the marathon was to push myself harder than I have before and the two steps backward aren’t giving me that satisfaction, yet. I need to be realistic, I’m on day 2 (a rest day). It will eventually be more than my body had done before.
This is going to be a long journey from now until November 14th. I’m really looking forward to it in a way I haven’t looked forward to something in a long time now. I’ll update here once or twice if I find anything interesting about the running. I will at least try to post my time once the race has been run.