Why Don't They Get It? The Marathon-Explained.The marathon is something most non-thrill seekers or non-runners will not understand. A marathon is one of those things you have to experience for yourself, whether if you just do one or several. Some people run in their first marathon and are immediately swept away in the accomplishment and know they want to participate in more events. Some people run in their first, swear they're never going to run in one again because of the sore muscles and recoup time, but once that pain is over they start looking into other races. They're hooked. Others run one marathon and they're done -- They just wanted to say they did it at least once.
For me, it all started with fitness. Running sort of manifested itself out of losing 30 pounds and becoming more fit. Prior to running, I swam a lot. I discovered that I actually enjoyed running and eventually signed up for a 5k. I had a blast.
My first marathon was inspired by a friend who decided to run at least 5 marathons before turning 50. I believe she gave herself two years to achieve this goal. At the time, I was about 45, and figured I could perhaps do at least one marathon, and I was 5 years younger. I signed up to run in the San Diego Rock 'N' Roll Marathon for June 5, 2005, just 4 days shy of my 46th birthday.
I dragged my reluctant husband with me, but did most of the training on my own, with the guidance from the book Marathoning For Mortals by John Bingham. It was a lot of work and a lot of alone time. I soon discovered that running those long distances gave me plenty of time to think and solve the world's problems. I had no real time expectations for my marathon, but I just wanted to finish on my own two feet.
I did finish on my own two feet in about 5:30, and so did my husband in about 6:18. My runner brother even flew down from Northern California to run our first marathon with us. We were sore, tired, exhausted, exhilarated, and euphoric. My husband's office took bets to see if he would walk into the office the Monday morning after the marathon. He limped into work just so he could show off his medal. My once reluctant husband now had his own marathon story, and beamed when he talked about it. I also had my own marathon story, complete with tidbits about what I saw, how I felt, and how I was already looking to next year's SDRNR Marathon. Yeah, I was hooked.
After the marathon -- Karl, me, and Michael
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Since that time I have run in two more SDRNR Marathons, a handfull of half marathons and 5ks, and everything in between.
The hardest thing I've had to deal with was getting serioulsy injured just 2 weeks prior to last year's SDRNR marathon. I was able hang out at one of the hydration stops, see the elites glide by, greet all of my friends, encourage my husband, and spend time with other injured runners. I must admit to feeling a bit wistful when I saw video clips of the runners going through the finish line. I was thrilled for everyone, but I cried because I wasn't a part of that. I must admit to feeling heartbroken. No medal for me because I now had to deal with metal in my leg.
This year, with the stamp of approval from my doctor, I'm running again. I'm also training for my final SDRNR marathon. Some people think I'm nuts for wanting to complete another marathon, but it's still a passion, and a matter of unfinished business. My thoughts of attempting a BQ time have diminished, but now, as with my first marathon, my goal is to finish on my own two feet. I've gone full circle.
The marathon thing: It's all about passion. Whether if your passion is running or collecting stamps, find YOUR passion. We can all relate to passion, right?
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