05 September 2013
My Second Full Marathon: A Preface
I ran my first marathon on May 18th of this year. Within hours of crossing the finish line, adrenaline still coursing through my veins, I typed out several pages of notes, a ROUGH rough draft, things I wanted to remember about that awful/wonderful experience. I had every intention of writing a beautiful, clever blog post about it. And then I fell asleep.
4 months later...
I have just finished running my second marathon and the days are quickly slipping by. Maybe I'll skip the rough draft step and head straight to the blog post. Though I don't promise it will beautiful or clever. My body is already telling me it's time for another nap.
A second marathon is a very different experience than a first marathon. My first marathon was terrifying. Leading up to it, every time I let my thoughts linger on running *gulp* 26.2 miles I got dizzy and nauseated and usually ended up running to the bathroom with nervous bathroom issues. But it was also glorious. The anticipation was nigh unto Christmas or impending child birth. So much excitement and hope and fear, all churning and bubbling in one body.
Back in May, I crossed that finish line with incredible relief and immediately muttered to my husband, "I never want to do that again. Ever."
But I had already signed up for TWO more. Because somewhere in my twisted brain it made sense that if I was going to run one marathon, I might as well make it a lovely, round three. And I did this before I even knew what it was like to run one. And then I did run one and as great an accomplishment as that was...I was ready to move past it.
Marathons are just too long. Too painful. Too much. Too much time away from my family. Too much money. Too much anxiety. Too too much.
But this dang sense of pride. It just won't leave me alone. I said I was going to run three and by golly I would do three. Even if I couldn't quite get my heart behind the next round of training.
I half-heartedly pounded through four more months of training. And I saw my speed decline. I wasn't nearly as committed to getting every single run in. I just didn't/couldn't care about it. I let summer get in the way of my training. We took off to Mexico for almost 10 days and I didn't get a single run in. We went camping. We went to Idaho. Any excuse was a viable excuse and before I knew it I was only getting in three training runs a week instead of the four that I had been so diligent about the first go around.
As the date of the second marathon drew near, I didn't even feel anxiety. It just felt very old hat and drudgery. Depressing, no?
I don't mean to come across all grouchy and grim. I WAS excited to do it because I would be running with my sister and in my hometown and seeing many friends and family members that I love. That part was going to be wonderful.
It was just the 26.2 miles of pounding on every joint in my body. The pain from the first one was too fresh in my mind.
Imagine having a beautiful baby after a long and painful birth. Then imagine walking out of the hospital, new baby in arms, knowing you're pregnant again and going to give birth in a mere four months. THAT'S about the closest analogy I can think of. You love your new baby and you're excited for the new new baby. You just aren't looking forward to the part where you get the baby here, especially where you aren't feeling completely healed from the first birth.
Anyway...this is turning into a very long and drawn out explanation of nothing more than a bad attitude. That's most likely what this boils down to: A bad attitude.
And runners are supposed to be so peppy...
Read on for a hopefully peppier description of race day.