Tag Archives: marathon

Finishing the Marathon

Picking up at mile 20. (For the first 20 miles, click here.)

Wade and I are running along, conversing, but mainly just trying not to focus on the intense muscle cramps we are developing.

Around mile 21, we come up on Allie’s sister, and she joins us in our quest for the finish line. We press on, but we were HURTING. As in, every muscle fiber in our legs is painfully spasming, and it feels like we could fall out at any moment. Thoughts going through my head during the last few miles include:

  1. It feels like I’m running on perpetual charley horses.
  2. Do you think we can make it?
  3. My legs feel like a cross between jello and stilts.
  4. This is so hard.
  5. I could easily curl up into a ball and pass out on the sidewalk right now.
  6. It is dangerously possible that my calf muscles roll up and detach from the bone at any given moment.
  7. Remind me again why I signed up for this?
  8. Please make it stop.
  9. Maddie, Maddie, Maddie, Maddie.
  10. How much further?
  11. Where is the @#$% finish line?

At some point along the agonizing North Parkway stretch, some of our dependable cheerleaders inform us that Allie is just a few yards behind, so we slow down and she speeds up, and around mile 24 we are all reunited. This may not sound amazing, but it really, really is. Of all the runners out there, and the fact that we all ran separately and at different paces, what are the odds that we would meet up before the end?!? It was totally a God thing, and it was awesome.

The last couple miles felt like an eternity and tested every ounce of mental and physical endurance we had, and then some. We encouraged each other along, and when we finally approached the stadium (what a glorious sight!), we ran our last little stretch hand-in-hand and crossed the finish line in 4 hours, 40 minutes, and 50 seconds. It was emotional, beautiful, incredible, and exhausting, and I am so thankful to have finished my first marathon in such a memorable way.

 

And I know I’ve said that I refuse to do another marathon, but now that I’ve put a few days worth of space between me and the race, I’m sorta kinda thinking I would maybe consider it.

In the distant future.

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Running a Marathon

is brutal. Agonizing. Nothing I had read or heard even remotely prepared me for how difficult it was. I knew to expect a great deal of physical and mental discomfort, but I was unaware of just how unbearable those last 5 miles would be. It is an act of God that I finished that race, and even more so the way in which I finished it, which really was pretty miraculous for all parties involved. In my next blog post, I will reveal just what that means, as well as rehash all 26.2 miles in gory detail.

I still have not fully wrapped my mind around the fact that I ran a marathon. I ran a marathon. It is unfathomable, and it almost feels like a dream/nightmare when I think back on it. Did I really do that?

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.

For now, I’m taking a mini running break. I am instructed not to work out for the next week, and that is exactly what I’m going to do. I will resume running at the start of the new year, but as for now, I *plan* on giving my body some solid recovery time. And I must say, it’s a nice change of pace.

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Am I Really Doing This?

I’m going into the marathon this Saturday undertrained, tenderfooted, and without an inkling of an idea as to how I will do. As promising as this sounds, I’m still optimistic. Perhaps even delusional, as I still envision myself crossing that finish line running on two healthy feet. The reality of it is this: if I complete this marathon without walking, it will be nothing short of miraculous.

Not that I’m not up for the challenge, because I totally am. I am so excited for this marathon. I exceeded my goal of raising $1,000 for St. Jude, I’ve done the training and tapering, and now I’m ready to run this thing!!

Throughout my training, subsequent injury, and forced time off, my expectations for the marathon have evolved. The transformation has looked a little something like this:

1) This distance should not be legal.

2) I just want to finish. That in itself is a worthy accomplishment.

3) I will not walk; I will run every last step of the race.

4) Not only will I run every step of the way, but I will do it at a consistent 10 minute per mile pace.

5) I want my left foot not to explode on or before race day.

6) I hope I am healthy enough to even start the race, let alone finish it.

7) I am going to go out there and have fun. The rest will work itself out on race day.

And the countdown begins. Only 3 days left until I’m lining up in my corral, saying a prayer, and setting out for a comfortable 4 to 5 hour run. Nothing like it.

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

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Marathon Training Hiatus

Roughly two weeks ago, I was finishing up an easy 5 miler around Patriot Lake, when I got the oddest sensation on the outside of my left foot. I ran the last quarter of a mile on it, and by the time I was finished, the pain had grown quite severe and left me unable to apply any sort of pressure. I iced it, rested, and woke up the next morning limping. For somebody who has dedicated the past 15 weeks to marathon training, this is a devastating development. I stayed off of it all week, had an unrevealing and inconclusive visit with an orthopedic, ran a painful 6 on Friday, and haven’t run since.

I understand that injuries come with the territory, and that if I am going to run the amount of mileage that I do, injuries are a natural side effect. Even so, I deplore them. I am concerned that my lack of training is destroying my marathon chances, but at the same time, attempting to run a marathon on an injured foot has got to be even more detrimental.

So, I wait.  And I continue raising money for those sweet souls at St. Jude. And I ask that you please oh please find it in your heart to contribute just $5 to the cause. ~~~> www.mystjudeheroes.org/melissam

I’ve purchased a new pair of running shoes, cushioned insoles, and a roll of athletic tape, and because I am impatient, I will be trying them out tonight on the treadmill. And if that goes well, then I will be a happy girl and feel like I can still salvage this month of training. And if it does not, then I guess I’ll just have to wait a little longer. The beautiful thing is, there are plenty of other marathons out there. If I don’t get to run St. Jude at the level I am hoping, there are always other opportunities, and for that I am thankful.

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I’m Running a Marathon

It’s official. I have decided to participate in the ultimate running challenge: the full marathon. This December, I’ll be taking on 26.2 miles of pavement in the St. Jude Marathon, and I am so excited for the training, the challenge, and the accomplishment of it all. Rather than make this all about me though, I want my efforts to achieve something bigger and more worthwhile. Thus, I am running as a St. Jude Hero, which means I’ve committed to raising money on behalf of the beautiful children at St. Jude. My fundraising efforts will directly support the work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in finding cures and saving the lives of children fighting cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers, with children from all 50 states and around the world benefitting from their research and treatment. St. Jude shares its research freely with the global medical community, and families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of a family’s inability to pay.

A group of my dear friends and I have created a team, titled Miles for Smiles, in order to raise money for this cause.  I have witnessed the tragedy of cancer firsthand, and I hate it. I have committed to personally raising $1,000 of the $4,000 our team has pledged to raise, and I need your help! I would be deeply grateful for your support and contribution to this honorable cause.  Please make a donation to support my efforts for St. Jude and join the fight against childhood cancer. No matter how small the denomination, every bit will help and serve as encouragement as I train for this endeavor.

Please visit my St. Jude Hero donor webpage and share the wealth! Thank you so much for your support!

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