I've taken on a big challenge...running a full marathon. That is 26.2 miles. A very long way. A few years ago I started running when I participated in a 5K benefit run, Fill the Ark. I had very few excuses since that race set up its finish line pretty much at the end of my driveway. After completing a couple 5Ks I started to think I could do a 10K. I signed up, I trained and I worked...and then I got hurt. I did nothing more than lean over to pick something up, and I was injured and in physical therapy for 6 months. It was so frustrating. About a year later, I decided it was time to try again--and I did it with the help of a kind friend who agreed to run super slow on my behalf and coached me along.
Many folks told me that running gets addictive, and it does...sort of. I still don't love it. I don't look forward to it, but I have learned a lot about myself and the power of setting goals. I did my first 1/2 marathon last September in Disneyland. I figured that if I was going to run 13.1 miles, I should do it somewhere I truly love. It was quite the experience. I trained and my body felt strong, but I was unprepared for the sheer size of this race...somewhere near 17,000 runners. In my head I had planned to be back at the hotel resting within 3 hours of the start of the race. Nope. I didn't even cross the starting line until about an hour after the starting pistol went off. Between the crowds, the heat (I thought I'd be done by the time the temperature became a factor) and a headache that just didn't want to let go, it took me MUCH longer than I had planned. I was thrilled to finish, but felt discouraged that things didn't go well.
I decided to try another 1/2 marathon--I picked one in St. George, in January, which would be smaller and cooler. My good friend agreed to go with me. I continued training (including the run that ripped my favorite running tights in my last post) and managed to cut almost 40 minutes off my finish time. I felt great at the end of the race--no real down time--which got me thinking. And thinking. And some more thinking, that MAYBE I could do a full marathon.
I spent another month really considering it...and I decided to sign up for a local race. I've been training. Saturdays are pretty much spent doing the long training runs. This past weekend was my last long training run, 23 miles. But I didn't make it. At mile 15 my body was screaming at me and my back was tight and angry-and a migraine was threatening to get out of control. I stopped. I waited. I waited some more. And I knew I had to try. I made it another 6.5 miles and I was done for the day. So--now I have the taper...fewer miles, just maintaining my fitness and letting my body get ready for the real deal in a couple weeks.
I decided I needed a few more inspirational quotes to hang around my house, in my car, in my gym bag. Anywhere and everywhere. Everyone tells me that the marathon distance is a mental game. I was singing in choir on Sunday after my not-quite-23 mile run and we sang the words from Isaiah 40:31 "they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint"...seemed like that was a good place to start my inspirational quotes. Wish me luck (and good weather!)
If you'd like to print these quotes, click the link and look for the Run Inspiration file. Its sized to print on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper. I'm even thinking of printing some on tattoo paper to put on my arm for race day.
UPDATE: I did it! I finished the Ogden Marathon. It was exactly as hard as I thought it would be. Miles 22-26.2 were SO long and so hard. I appreciated all the wonderful people who cheered on total strangers along the route and the great volunteers who offered up water and encouragement.