This evening I was reading over the past few blog posts I’ve written. I was reading about the Hoosier Half Marathon back in April when I remembered something very particular about that race — the soreness.
Running 13.1 miles at a 10:02 min/mile pace destroyed my legs. I remember wincing as I stepped down from the curb of a sidewalk onto a road. I remember my hips protesting every step I took. I remember feeling incredulous listening to my teammate talk about how she felt like she could run another half marathon the next day.
In the midst of marathon training now, I have run 10, 12, 10, 12 as my long runs over the past four weeks. The first 12 miler was hard, but my average pace was around 9 min/mile (a full min/mile faster than the April half) and while I was sore the next day, that soreness in no way compared to the just-got-hit-by-a-truck feeling I experienced in April.
Speaking of marathon training, I guess I haven’t really talked about signing up for the Philly marathon again this year. Which I did on April 1st, the day registration opened. I like to sign up for a race as soon as I’m sure I don’t have any conflicts. Thankfully this year, club XC nationals will be the weekend before.
I’m so excited to do the marathon again. Something about pummeling my body for 26.2 miles sounds like a good idea. But really, I know it will be hard, but I know it will be totally different from the past two times I’ve run marathons. For both of those, I felt like I had something to prove (only to myself, but still). My first marathon, I needed to prove that I was physically capable of covering the distance. My second marathon, I needed to prove I could Boston Qualify. For months, I felt sick to my stomach imagining what it would feel like to run an 8:11 minute mile 26 times — I had a hard enough time doing it once or twice! But somehow, I did it.
This time though, I’m doing the marathon solely because I want to do the marathon. I want to run a very long distance throughout my beautiful city on a crisp fall day and spend the rest of the day on my coach reading random things on the internet, eating food, and basking in the post-race euphoria.
I have zero time goals. Some people have suggested that surely I’d be able to BQ again, since I’ve already done it once, but I know where I am fitness-wise and it is not there. Maybe next year will be my year, but this is the year of taking a step back and learning how running fits in with my life — because running is not all that I eat, sleep, and breathe anymore, which is a blessing.
So I guess tonight while reading my own writing, I realized that I’m in a good place right now. Steadily gaining fitness while keeping perspective on what’s important. Life is really, really good right now, and I have so much to be thankful for.