It was about last year at this time that I made running a marathon one of my New Year’s resolutions. In fact, I liked the idea of running 26.2 miles before I turned 26. I ran the marathon on June 4th, just three weeks before my birthday. It was a pretty awesome experience, but it was about so much more than running and setting aside hours of time to pound the pavement. Actually, that turned out to be the easy part.
I overtrained at the beginning, which I didn’t even realize was possible when the race is that distance. It left me needing to take a week or so off in the middle in order to rest my legs and let the
calf muscles relax again. They were tight ALL.THE.TIME. If you flex your leg the most you can, that’s how it felt at all times for me…even in bed. That was the worst. One day, I started crying walking down the stairs and to the kitchen; the pain was terrible. That’s when John told me I needed to take some time off. One week was all I could allow. Mentally, a week off is quite a scary idea. The other terrible struggle was my feet. Blisters tore up my feet and blood stained my sneakers. I would feel great the entire run and then get home only to finally look down and notice a red stair across my shoes (imagine what the inside looked like). And that photo was taken after I washed the blood out. It was hard to force those shoes back on the next day when the skin hasn’t begun to heal and is a bit swollen, but I did. That’s probably more of the impressive side of running a marathon than not stopping for 26.2 miles, personally.
Again this year, I wonder if I should begin mentally preparing for another physical challenge. Two years ago was the Drake 1/2 marathon, and last year was the Notre Dame full. Well, it just so happens that my own small town of Marion is hosting a half marathon in May of 2012 as a part of the Arts Festival! The course goes RIGHT PASSED OUR HOUSE! Although no official confirmation has been made, how could I not register? (As I type this, my calf muscles tighten and my feet begin screaming…)