Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So you want to know what a marathon is?*

So I ran my marathon on Sunday. I still have not completely processed the whole experience. I have processed it enough to know that I want to run another one - and I am already planning what to work on.

I told my daughter that the first 20 miles were pleasant - and really - they were as pleasant as a 20 mile run can be. The last 6.2 miles were tough, not that I expected them to be easy. But you are in such a state of pain that even your brain hurts (which used to be my brother's comment if someone had a particularly ... stupid moment. And I was having a few of them). My hip started to hurt at about mile 6 and even after 2 ibuprofen, it was on fire. I hadn't had any injuries leading up to the day (I have been remarkably injury-free through 30 years of running). And even now, 3 days late, it still hurts (yes, mom, I am going to the doctor on Friday). But I couldn't separate the pain in my hip from the pain everywhere else - my feet hurt every time they hit the pavement, my lower back was killing me - and if I stopped to list all the parts of my body where it hurt…well, I would have sat down on the curb and just stopped right then and there.

But seeing what your body and mind will do to reach a goal - our bodies are so strong and we really do not appreciate them until they carry us through moments like this. This helps me remember that deep down, (where, in many ways things really count) I am resilient. The only other thing I can compare it to is child-birth - and I did say out loud, if I could get through that, I could get through this. And it is true to a certain extent. But in childbirth you are labouring for someone to give them life - and a marathon is pretty self-indulgent (OK - that's a weird statement - but I am doing it mostly for me, as opposed to anyone else).

One of the things that was cool? All three of my kids told me they were proud of me. CW (the 15 year old) was the first of my entourage to greet me. He gave me a great big hug and told me how proud he was of me. Then my 11 year old found me and said he was really, really proud (of course, then he told me that I didn't stink as much as I did in Calgary after my long runs there - sigh). And my daughter posted her pride on Facebook. As a parent, you rarely do anything that your kids are proud of - at least anything that they will say out loud, in person and to your face. So those comments really made my day.

And my time? Not impressive - in under 6 hours (5:54) - which is about 30 minutes more than I wanted. So this is one of the things I want to work on - the others are strength, core and stride.

Finally - the title of this post refers to a comment a guy yelled at me at about 24.5 miles (when I was SURE that I passed the 24 mile signpost 3 miles ago and WHERE THE HELL WAS THE @% 25 MILE SIGNPOST) - apparently a marathon is a 26.2 mile mind****!!!!!


  1. Janet

    Congratulations on running the marathon and making your kids so proud. Great effort.

    Did you ever come up with a mantra?


  2. I didn't - although echoes of "I think I can, I think I can", kept coming into my head - and I also had heel toe, heel toe playing on a loop.

    Thanks for your comments!! Janet