How far is a marathon, really? 

On October 18,2015 it was 26.2 miles in reality that it the end of a journey that is a hell of a lot longer than 26.2 miles. Its more like 9+ months, three pairs of shoes, globs of vasoline, blisters, baths, sweat, miles driven dropping off water and hours planning training routes, its early mornings, running sore and tired, playlists and protein bars, not to mention  the drive to get to the race. It was almost a year of mental energy. It was more tears and soreness than I realized it would be. Thankful for the support I was blessed with: kids, husband, sisters, brother, friends, parents, in-laws, facebook family, co-workers and fellow race participants. 

On October 18 I completed the Columbus Marathon. I was so proud of myself…until I saw my time, until I saw the photos, until I saw official results; and then I was ashamed, depressed and deflated. I was the 56th last marathoner to finish with a time of 6:15. Third last in my age division. When I put all this together I pretty much decided to stop running, I cried for three days straight. This experience that should have been self affirming crushed me. (Add to that the hotel screwed up and overcharged me resulting in over $100 in overdraft charges, but thats another story.) 

The next Sunday as Asics so kindly told me it was time for recovery run one, 20 minute jog. I had ZERO desire to run, but I did. And I cried. My legs rejoiced in the burn and stretch, I really wanted more than 20 minutes but the program was laid out that way for a reason. Traveling last week I got in two 3 milers on the treadmill. I got over my sadness, I’m still not satisfied with my performance BUT the only redemption, is to train harder and do it again.

So 2016 here is the plan: 

March – Heart Mini  15K

May – Flying Pig full

June – Tough Mudder KY

July – Edgewood 5k

August* – Redlegs 10k date is tbd

October – Columbus full

November – Honor Half & Thanksgiving Day 10k

There is no honor in quitting, only on persevering. 
   
    
    
 

Close to Columbus….maybe

It’s been a short summer, I have enjoyed my kids, yoga and running of course. Back to school hit so quickly and we are well into our routein. I heavy heartedly continue to train for Columbus, but I don’t think I will actually get to go. Our dedication to our kids attening parochial schools has left our budget so tight that spending money on a hotel seems selfish and irresponsible, yet I train on. Even if I can’t make the event I will run the distance that morning. Today I headed out at 4:30 am to beat the heat and finished 18 miles in 3:43. I oddly am less sore than when I did 15 two weeks ago. My heel/ankle are killing me, I am very thankful that the x-rays were negative for a stress fracture.  


My new Tomtom, a birthday gift!

   
About halfway through my run! 

Running with No Music

Last week I forgot my iPod at work one day and I dislike listening to music on my phone, it drains the battery and since I also forgot my watch, it’s a trend here, I was going to have to rely on run-keeper and that is a huge battery suck. I decided to run without music.

Music is huge to me, I have written about it several times. It stems I believe from my days in Martial Arts and the competitive training that was always set to music. I have learned to lean on it while I run, if my pace is off a bit I can choose a song to boost me, or if I start to think way too much I can turn it up louder, I find my sing-a-long aids in the passage of miles and meanings to me behind the songs I choose are with purpose.

So what if I didn’t have any music, what if it was just me and my thoughts….and I had a movie flashback to What Women Want and that scene with Helen Hunt as she tries to develop a slogan for Nike…the woman’s feet hitting the pavement, her letting go of whatever weighed her down because for that next mile or hour it was just her, the shoes and the road.

What if I embodied that mentality and it was running for me? So I listened.

It was evening, and at my house that means, barn owls, bull frogs, crickets, coyotes, the soft rustle of wind through the trees, a diesel truck heading up the road, the heartbeat in my ears, the bellow of the cows in the pasture just a quarter-mile away; the aroma of the day ending, yes it has a smell, the heat of the sun softening as it set over the hill. My feet. My shoes. My run. For me. My tears, crying seems to be all I do with regularity these days.

I owned those miles, just two. My feet still very sore from the half, and upon returning home realizing that I was not healed enough to run just yet. When I stopped did running without music really impact me at all…my pace was exactly what it normally is.

So maybe as an intermediate runner, which I now consider myself to be, given that I know way more about shoes, socks, chaffing, hydration, and pacing; the run so much isn’t about the progress as it is the process. I know I am never going to be a top finisher, I never set out to be, my body is not built for that; but maybe just maybe music isn’t always what I need when I am out there, maybe its the moment, those few precious moments when it’s just me, my shoes, my footfall on pavement, me letting go of what holds me back, my confidence that I know I am what I need to be for me.

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