I just booked a flight to Chicago.
To run 26.2 miles.
When I woke up this morning, this was not part of the plan. Up until a few days ago, this marathon was not even on my radar. But through a series of fortunate events, encouraging friends, enticing ticket prices, and available race bibs, it has manifested into a concrete event that will actually be taking place in my life on October 7, 2012. This is real life.
I know, I know…I realize I said never again. In fact, upon completing my first marathon, I believe these were my very words:
Two days later, I am still in a world of pain; every fiber of my being hurts. Walking is difficult, the act of sitting makes me grimace, and going down stairs nearly brings me to tears. Even sleeping hurts. Once I am a bit more removed from the pain I might feel differently, but as of now, I declare that I am not running another marathon. I’m told my feelings on the matter will change as I regain mobility and forget the discomfort, but as for now, I am hurting, and I am not inclined to even entertain the idea of putting myself through another round of torture.
So yeah, call me crazy, but I just committed to another dose of this. On purpose.
Which means, coming off a much-needed running sabbatical, I am back in full-force training mode in preparation for the Chicago Marathon.
After achieving a half marathon PR in Mississippi, I gave myself permission to take a guilt-free break from running, and it has been so, so good. My body loves me for it, my mind loves me for it, and my social calendar loves me for it. For roughly two months, I haven’t run more than ten miles total (with the exception of this past week, which marked my official comeback to the running world). The hiatus has not only given me a chance to focus on some other areas of fitness – weightlifting, yoga, core, biking, and various other activities – but it has also relieved my mind of the demanding and somewhat monotonous rigours of routine running. Not only that, but I firmly believe our bodies deserve seasons of rest. It is both physically and mentally draining to continuously perform at a high level, and every now and then you just need to settle down for a little rejuvenation.
Fortunately, time off has made me miss running just enough to where I am pumped to begin marathon training. Good thing indeed, because I’ve got 16 weeks of intensive training ahead of me, and the mileage adds up quickly.