Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Journey to 26.2

If you had told me even a year ago that I would be running 26.2 miles, I would have laughed in your face. Last year, I ran two half marathons and thought I had reached the max. Who would want to run more than that??

Well, in January, Amy asked me if I wanted to run the Country Music Marathon. Um, NO, was my first reaction. But. . . I like to push myself, and I like to challenge myself, and I really liked running, so the no, turned into yes.

We began training for the April race. It was hard and time consuming, and required some serious dedication, but I was loving it. The training program we were using required us to run 20 miles for the longest run and that haunted me from the day we started training.

Finally, that day rolled around and 13 miles into the run I knew something was wrong. A pain shot up through my ankle and it wasn’t leaving. I still remember the exact spot I stopped on Hughes Road and told Amy that something was wrong. I sat down and rested for a minute and then said “Let’s go. I am finishing this run.” Five miles later, the pain was unbearable and I had to stop. Something was not right.

A trip to TOC later in the week (thanks Shannon Brown for getting me in so quick!) and an MRI showed that I was right, something was wrong. It wasn’t fractured, just a stress reaction. The prescription? No running. WHAT?! The marathon was 4 weeks away. Talk about crushing.

Amy still ran the Country Music Marathon, but because of weather, was cut off at mile 20. Again, talk about crushing.

So, fast-forward to August. We decide to go for it again. We picked back up on the 18-week training program with the St. Jude Marathon as our goal.

We ran, and ran, and ran. In the dark, in the cold, in the rain, in the heat and humidity. A shout out to Wal-Mart, CVS, Quiznos, Kroger, Discovery, and others for allowing us to use their restrooms on long runs. We joked that Quiznos should be our sponsors. The owner was so kind and encouraging and always let us refill our water bottles when needed! It was hard and at times I wasn’t sure I could do it. Saturdays were dedicated to long runs. Between grad school, running and work, I felt like I didn’t have much of a social life. Thank goodness I had a great running partner who like to talk as much as I do.

My ankle was much more agreeable this time around. Craig was helpful, to the point of being annoying :) , to remind me to take my vitamins and calcium and anti-inflammatory from the doc.

The 20 miler came around and we decided to run the Huntsville Half marathon and just add 6 more. I was nervous. During that week we ran 40 miles total. The 20-mile run turned out to be great. It was hot that day, but we did it! And my ankle held up great.

It was all-downhill from there as far as mileage. As the race neared I was nervous, but ready. I had a hard time wrapping my brain around 26.2. It seemed like there were so many unknowns- what if it rained, what if it was really hot or really cold, what if I got hurt, what if . . .

Abby started running with about a month before the race and that helped too. We met in the mornings 2 days a week. It made me look forward to those early mornings and made getting up so early not so bad.

Before we knew it, the 18 weeks was up and it was time for the race. Memphis here we come!!

Marathon Post Coming Soon! :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Leah! What a great post! You described everything so well! The fact that you and Amy both hit such awful road blocks, but you both decided to try again anyway. That is so inspiring! And I love the part about Craig "helping" so much. That is great. I can't wait to read the marathon post!!!