For a long time it has been on my bucket list to complete a marathon. Not because I want to bring awareness to a cause, or get in better shape. It is the challenge of it that has drawn me in.
I don’t know exactly when this became a desire/dream; I just know it has been with me for a long time. I started running track in Jr. High during, and then eventually started running Cross Country in high school. In college I continued to do 5k’s and jog around the LSU lakes.
A few years ago I got real serious, or partly serious about training for a marathon. I hesitated to tell people about my goal, in case I could not complete it. I started running long runs on Saturdays, and reading books on training for endurance runs. About two months before the race I planned to complete, I started feeling pain in the outside of my right knee. As a result, I backed down my mileage, but it never started feeling better. Once the race day came, I decided on completing a half instead of the full marathon.
That race started out well, and I was on pace to have a great time, but I ended up having to walk the last two miles. I am still happy with my time of 2:08, but the results of the run had a huge impact on me. I had a hard time running over the next 6 months. It was a long time before running felt physically normal again.
I actually thought that was the end of my marathon dream. I just concluded that it was something that I could not do. Then again recently, I started wondering what it would be like to finally take on that challenge of 26.2 miles in one run.
When we moved to Birmingham, I saw that there was a marathon here. It takes place the day before my birthday, and it is sponsored by Mercedes. Then I saw the medal, which is basically a Mercedes hood ornament that you can wear around your neck. I started running again.
My milage was in the 30’s for the first couple months, and then when I got more committed it jumped into the 60’s. That is when I started having knee pain again. Years ago, it was my IT band that was bothering me. Now it is my knee cap.
There are a lot of weird little muscles that you have to work out and strengthen when you are running distances this long. I didn’t even know the IT band existed when I first started training for a marathon. Then I discovered that your shoulder muscles have to be strengthened in order to prevent pain. Now I am learning the need for a strong core and hips to save your knees, and complete this challenge.
This morning I am scheduled to run a half marathon. The forecast is thunderstorms, and the race actually may get canceled. It also happens to be exactly 3 months away from the race I have marked as my marathon run. At this point, I don’t know if I will be able to complete the race this morning, or the one in 3 months. I maybe able to take a slow pace, and walk across the finish this morning, but I really don’t know if I will be able to make the full 26.2 as I have planned.
My goal is to continue training, and if things go well, I might run a marathon.