Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Marathon

I did it. Yeah! The marathon is complete. The training is over. The race is done. The pain is now gone. The recovery run is completed. And now is the time for . . . What comes next?

I think this whole marathon training experience has been an interesting one for me. I was forced to train several times a week, sacrifice time with friends and husband, miss church on Sunday morning for several months because of training runs and endure all kind of weather. I ran when I was tired, ran when I was hungover, ran when I was sick, ran when it was rainy, ran when it was hot (the end of the Lacamas Lake Half was, to me, the worst race of my life) and ran . . . well, I ran basically all the freaking time.

I developed asthma or allergies, or some combination of both. Running lost all appeal. Running became boring. I hated running. Basically I got a little burnt out on running by the end.

But I did it. I ran and ran and ran and then my body started to seize up and my legs started to feel like lead weights and the Broadway bridge became the biggest hill of my life! and I kept going and I finished. I was delirious and cold and exhausted and I finished!

It was a great feeling and yet, and yet. The wonderful guilt began to take hold not long after (and not long before). I could have done better. I could have finished faster. I could have recovered quicker. I drank too much while training, I didn't eat enough veggies. While the hell didn't I lose those last 10 lbs?! Oh wait, there was that whole drinking wine and eating dessert instead of carrots thing.

Sigh. But in the end, training for the marathon taught me a LOT. I think there is something powerful in learning how to manage one's time and one's energies in a 26 mile stretch of time. I was forced to mentally and physically prepare for something incredibly taxing and psyche myself up for the biggest butt beating of my life!

I have a friend 25 lbs into a 120 lb weight lost and can't help but think of the similarities between the two.

Something I learned early on in my long runs is that you can't think about the big goal, the 12 miles or whatever, when you first start the run. You have to think about the first 3, when you start to find your rhythm, and then the next 3, when you reach the halfway point, and then the 3 after that, when you finding your pace in the hills, and finally the last 3 when you say, hell, I can run 3 more miles!

And I think weight loss, or any large goal, is like that. You just have to divide it up into little parts and as long as you've already established you can reach those little goals, then hell, you sure can reach the big goals.

And that is POWERFUL! To know your strength, to know your endurance, to know your body and be able to hear it and listen to it. And in spite of all the things I could have done (and of course plan to do in my next theoretical marathon, heh, heh), what I learned was some awesome stuff. And I just CANNOT hate my body for being chubby or whatever when it carried by cottage cheese ass 26.2 freaking miles.

Still lots of things to think about. But trying HARD to love myself for this and not critique what I could have done better.


Stefanie said...


Sally HP said...

After years of thinking of the gigantic number of pounds I need to lose, I broke it down to life phases...before baby 2, I weighed x, then before baby 1 I weighed y, when I got married, I weighed z, when I graduated high school...etc. Much more attainable, but oh, so hard still. I'm in awe of you for that marathon...wish I'd been there to cheer you on!