We are in Marathon week now. I know I have not posted anything to my blog in a long time. I am a bad blogger. I have been in my ugly head a lot. After my first 20 miler and how horrible it was I ended up with a serious IT Band issue that I couldn't seem to shake. I actually ended up not running for 2 weeks to rest it and still had pain. I went to have it taped before my second attempt at a 20 mile run. That also did not work. I ended up giving up at 14 miles, with the last 3 being mostly walking. On Easter, I was talking to my brother-in-law (a seasoned distance runner) and he gave an IT Band strap to try. It wraps around the leg above the knee at the base of the IT Band. I could not believe it, this thing was like a miracle! So, I was able to complete my last 20 mile run with relatively no pain in my right knee. I also completed that run without puking and without crying. I had to use some mental trickery to get through the last leg of it but I did it and I felt good about it. I am still trying to figure out how I will manage to add 6 more miles on to that this weekend but I feel a little more confident now that I can at least finish the race. Finishing was always the goal. I am figuring that even if I have to walk most of the last 6 miles I can still finish at around 5 hours. The course is open for 6 hours. I got this. I am not trying to qualify for Boston, nor am I trying to be some bad ass runner girl. I just wanna say that I ran a marathon and was able to walk the next day. I am at a point that I am ready for this to be over and ready to move on to what comes next. Because there always has to be a "what comes next." Life's not worth living without something to reach for.
My life has continued to evolve in spite of all the training and I have learned some valuable lessons from this experience. The biggest lesson I have learned is that I am NOT a marathon runner. I am a 10K runner, I am a half-marathon runner but not a marathon runner. The training has definitely taken it's toll on my body but my life is so busy that I really don't have the time it takes to effectively train for a race of this length. I work a full time job, teach yoga several days a week, have children and step children to tend to and a house to run. Marathon training takes a lot of time and it requires a family who can and is willing to, help you with the mundane aspects of being a grown-up like mopping floors, keeping the laundry up, giving the dog a bath. It's been incredibly hard for me to be counselor, teacher, mom, wife, and runner in training. I intend to do the half marathon in Detroit in October and possibly attempt the Bike to the Bay next summer. I am fairly certain this will be the only time I experience a full marathon. This is okay for me. One time is enough to say that I accomplished something that was unfathomable 6 years ago when I was recovering from a coma and couldn't even walk around my block without having to stop and rest. It's been only 5 short years ago that I even began running. Before that I was as un-athletic as they come. I am ecstatic that I am even entered to do this and that I have completed 6 months of a training schedule to get to the finish line. I am sure I will cry when I cross that line, I get a little bleary eyed just visualizing it. The next 6 days will be exciting and agonizing all at the same time. Who knew I could come this far? I sure didn't.