2 Marathons. 1 Day.
Seriously, I ran 2 Marathons on Sunday, October 16th!
Don't believe me? Its true.
I ran two marathons: my FIRST and my LAST!
Haha. What an awful joke. But seriously, it was my last.
You see in the picture above that there are three medals hanging in my office. They are two half marathon medals and the one on the far right is the new addition - the marathon medal. I am proud that I ran a marathon - it's not something I do every day. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in knowing that I ran 26.2 miles in under 5 hours! Just so you don't think my ego is getting big, I met a guy who ran a marathon in 2 hours and 58 minutes. I also met a 65 year old man who has run over 200 marathons in his lifetime - at least one in every single state! Or the 59 year old man who is running 14 marathons in 30 days. See, I'm not too impressed with me either.
Am I glad I ran a marathon? Absolutely! Will I run another one? Absolutely not!
For starters, I ran 380 miles in 17 weeks to train for this marathon. Thats right, I spent almost THREE entire days of my life running in preparation for this marathon! And no one was chasing me! I VOLUNTARILY ran! I burned over 80,000 calories and my Saturday mornings consisted of oatmeal, peanut butter, bananas and running. What am I saying? This took a lot of time. Maybe less prep goes in if you run 8-12 marathons a year, but man it was a commitment!
I firmly believe that some people are built to run and then there are the rest of us! Yeah, I'm 6'2" and "look like a natural runner" (says a few of the trainers whose classes I participated in at the REC) but running beat me up! Thank God that I had no injuries while training, and only had one run where I thought it was my turn to meet Jesus, and I feel great today! But honestly, it was tough physically and mentally every time I went for a long run!
Now don't get me wrong, plenty of good things happened as a result of this marathon. I received a cool medal that says "Marathon" on it. I literally fist pumped (it was caught on camera) when I saw the finish line. My body had goose bumps and it was a rare/brief emotional experience for me. I thought of all I had done to prepare and the hard work had paid off. If you would have told me 18 months ago, when I first started to think about running long distances, that I would run in a race for 4 hours 51 minutes and 23 seconds, I would say you were out of your mind! It was cool to accomplish something I had been preparing for.
I will never forget the experience of running the marathon or the friends who I ran with. The friends made it fun. My running partners made this marathon worth while. We have joked around about making t-shirts and starting a running club of sorts. And who knows, it might just happen! I asked a friend to run a marathon with me and he reluctantly said yes. Soon others joined in our training and I think one day there were 8 of us running/biking/roller-blading on the streets of Fort Dodge. We were like a gang. An exercise gang. At least in my head thats what we were.
It was fun training with others who were working towards the same goal as me. That's the takeaway for me. Together is better. We need each other. Friendship is funship.