In the summer of 2009 I began training for the Twin Cities Marathon while on vacation in Hawaii (talk about gorgeous running locations!). The excitement turned to resentment when running took away from my vacation. I love running in new places and cities, discovering as I go, but having to fit long runs in while traveling was difficult. I grew more frustrated and overwhelmed after starting my Master’s degree, continued traveling for a month out of state, and juggling other social priorities, so I quit following a training plan in August. It would be the first race I signed up for, started to train for, and QUIT. I hated how that felt, but knew I simply did not have the time to train well or experience to run a marathon with little training in the fall. I did still find the time to run a half marathon in October, which boosted my moral some.
With a fall half marathon done, I decided to focus the limited time I had on setting a PR in the La Crosse Fitness Festival Half Marathon. Ryan and I had just bought a house in February, were closing in April, and moving in May all while I was coaching middle school track and attempting to add speed work to my training. The half marathon plan was exactly what I was able to handle time management wise and I was seeing results on the track. Race day came and I had a great race. I crossed the finish line in 1:45:05 setting a new PR by just over six minutes. I was pumped.
A new PR in half marathon!
With failed plans to run the Twin Cities Marathon in 2009 and a new set of confidence after my PR, I was ready to attempt a marathon again, the Twin Cities Marathon, in 2010. I had always heard this race was beautiful with fall colors, temperatures, and scenic lakes to help you along the miles. This was the marathon that wasn’t the year before-this made me even more determined to run it and run it well; I wanted another PR.
While visions of fall danced in my head, I quickly realized fall was a ways away. Summer training began with its usual difficulties…how to train in the heat and humidity, how to beat the heat and humidity when you like to stay up late and don’t have to get up early each day, how to balance busy summer plans with training, how to work on house projects and run…Through it all I stuck to my training most of the time. There were of course some set backs during the summer. Being part of a grant for two weeks and taking another 12 credits made things difficult, but I had a new sense of determination.
When fall came I was right on pace and schedule to run a PR. Race day came, I was rested, injury free, faster. Except during the race I didn’t feel rested, injury free, or faster. The first 12 miles were ok, but that didn’t last long. Before long my hips hurt, I had to stop to wait in line to pee for the first time in a race, I struggled to maintain my pace. I don’t know what happened. By mile 22 my legs were tired and my hips were very soar. The lakes and leaves were doing little for my moral.
I can see the finish!
I wanted to cry, but told myself that people who run marathons don’t give up and cry. I pushed through the pain. I was able to pick up the pace for a while. I knew a PR was still possible; that is what kept me going. I crossed the finish line in 3:48:45 breaking my old PR by eight minutes. I was beyond excited. Having friends and my husband at the finish line with champagne made the experience all the better.
As with many painful events, the joy and pride quickly began to erase any memories of suffering and discomfort I experienced. I found myself thinking, maybe I will run that other marathon in three weeks.
Twin Cities Medtronic Marathon