Monday, March 17, 2008

one and done ...

I did it! I am officially a marathoner. It's a title I will proudly carry for the rest of my life, yet it's something I NEVER want to do again. I seriously give credit to those people who run marathon after marathon, but I can't figure out how they do it. Or really why they would want to. Now don't get me wrong, it was amazing to cross that finish line (albeit slower than I had hoped) but the entire experience was painful and long and very time consuming, not only the race but the four months of training prior to the race.

Now I'm sure had I not had to run on a fractured ankle, I might feel a little differently about the situation, but probably not. I'm pretty sure I wasn't made to run marathons ... it took too much of a toll on my body. However, I do believe that a half-marathon is something I could really enjoy doing (and even do well at). I know my body can handle it. I ran eight consecutive long runs of 13 or longer (comfortably, might I add). So no more marathons! EVER!

So I know you are dying to hear how the race went ... And here it is. S and I started out the race in fine shape. We ran just behind the four hour pace team and came through mile six in 56 minutes. But my ankle already hurt. I told S that I was sure that I wasn't going to make the whole race without some walking so she should leave me, and it's a good thing she did. (She went on to finish in 4:22! Yeah S!) As I watched S pull further and further away, I just prayed I could finish. I pushed on, running the first 10 miles, then I changed my strategy. I walked the first two minutes of each mile and then ran to the next mile marker. (My half-marathon split was 2:12 - 10:07 miles) That worked until mile 18.5 (3:11 split - 10:38 miles). But then I thought my day was done. I was in so much pain that it hurt to walk, so running was out of the question. But still I pushed on, walking the next four miles. But then at around mile 22 my ankle felt fine (it was actually just numb). So I popped some tylenol, and ran to the finish, picking up the pace, especially in that last mile (eight minutes) and finished in 5:06:38. Not the time I had dreamed of, but I never imagined I would have to do it on a broken foot either. So in the end I averaged 11:42 miles and finished ahead of 468 people. At least I wasn't last!

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