|Our younger selves around the time of |
my first marathon 2010.
First, let me say everybody needs a Craig Lawson in her life. He's the best darn husband, coach and training partner a girl could ever have. He's a true life partner. And I try his patience to no end, it's a miracle he hasn't booted me out. Anyway...
I had the perfect marathon strategy:
- I had (mostly) followed a great training plan from Runner's World.
- I had my gels, my Sharkies, and my water.
- I was running as a fundraiser and had a notecard with names of people for each mile who had sponsored a mile and whom I was committed to praying for during that mile.
- I had watched inspiring youtube videos ad nauseam.
The first problem came when the course split around mile 12. Dear Miami Marathon course planners, this is a swift punch in the gut. Watching my friend and the rest of the half marathon runners trot off happily to the finish line (and bagels, bananas and beverages) is just cruel.
But it was ok. "I'm feeling strong," I told myself. (Use of mantra- check.)
And then somewhere around mile 17 the wheels fell off. And when I say fell off, I mean flew off and left me shuffling along in a crazed zombielike state. For a few miles I stumbled into every port-a-potty on the course; I didn't even have to go-- I believe I was hoping they were secretly time machines that would transport me to the finish line. I sent mental messages to every police officer I passed, willing them with my mind to pull me off the course and take me... I don't know... to prison?
Finally I found the solution. I would call my husband. My knight in shining silver car would find me on the course and rescue me from all my pain and misery. (And this thought proves just how crazed I was.) The call went something like this:
"Hello?" (My shaky, near hysteria greeting)
"Hello?" (His confused response)
"Where are you?" (Translation: why aren't you feeling my troubles and finding me. We are ONE!)
"I'm on my way to pick you up. Are you done already?" (Unknowingly rubs salt into the wound)
"I'm at like mile 18. I don't think I can finish." (Now sniffling and voice barely audible to prove how desperate the situation.)
"I'm driving to the finish line. I will pick you up there." (Translation: there is no way you are quitting)
And THAT is really why I called him. I had done the training-- the weeks and hours of long runs, longer runs, and speed work. Really, I knew he wouldn't come and pull me off the course. I knew he would give me the kick in the pants I needed to fight through and finish.
Let me say this about marathons... yes, they are painful. But they are worth it. 26.2 miles is no joke, but they will teach you about yourself and about the power of the mind. My problem out on that course was mostly my mind.
Please share any non-traditional race stories you have!