26.2 Revisited

Done

What were you doing one year ago today? Do you remember? I do. I was waking up very early in an over-priced hotel in Nashville so that I could put on some short shorts and run 26.2 miles. Yep. One year ago today, I completed my first marathon.

I hope to some day try it again. I performed very poorly, compared to what I expected. I had run 20 miles three weeks before and hadn’t stopped to walk but through my water breaks. I didn’t start to get blisters until mile 18. So, these two things made me pretty optimistic that I’d run the majority of the distance if not all of it.

But, something about the roads in Nashville or the mood of my feet had me working on my first blisters at mile THREE. By the time I crossed the finish like, I had walked almost 10 miles of the 26 (if not more) and had at least one spot on each foot with THREE layers of blisters that had popped and reformed. It was AWESOME.

I do blame a lot of that on the fact that I was unable to really commit to the training program. If I were to tell people thinking about training for a marathon anything it would be: Prepare your family and make sure everyone is okay with you being gone a lot. I did not, so I just missed a lot of the training runs. Having a small child who was still nursing made it harder for me to make all of my runs as did having a husband and a son who also needed me. I just didn’t commit 100% since we were also trying to have a baby at the same time. It’s hard to motivate yourself to ditch your family four-five nights a week when you might end up being pregnant and not even run the marathon.

But – I would also tell everyone who is reading this that if I can do it, anyone can. I am not a runner. I am not even an athlete. I learned to enjoy my long runs because they made me very proud, but you can ask anyone who has seen me run. I actually walk faster. However – with the right program, your body learns to do more and more as the weeks pass and before you know it – your running double digits and freaking out about it.

I think the half-marathon is the distance for me. For now. I won’t train for another marathon until I’m done having kids and the ones I have are all at least potty trained. Until then, I want to try to at least run one half-marathon a year. Because that’s also a distance I feel proud about, but not one that takes me away from my family an unreasonable amount of time.

So, I look back today and feel proud. I crossed the finish line. Maybe in the bottom .000009 percent of the group with only a handful of people behind me – but I finished. And I’m proud every time I see that medal hanging on my china cabinet.

Funny thing is? If you look at me walking to my car this afternoon, you would see me walking just as oddly as I was a year ago. But this time it’s the pregnancy waddle, and not the blisters-on-my-feet or can’t-bend-my-knees walk. Either way – just as attractive.

17 thoughts on “26.2 Revisited”

  1. aww I remember being so excited for you!! That is a great accomplishment considering how many other things you have going on in your life. I was doing the same thing a year ago today. Fighting to stay awake after a long first jazz fest weekend….

  2. Next May I want to do the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati as a relay, the year after do the half-marathon attached to FP and the year after do the full Flying Pig. I have no proximity to Cincinnati but I have the utmost respect for people who take “I’ll run a marathon when Pigs Fly” Seriously.

    Am I spelling Cincinnati right? That looks strange….

  3. Zoot, I remember following your progress and was so excited for you!!! My husband had open heart surgery last June to replace his crappy aortic valve. He ran a half-marathon 2 weeks ago (details on my blog if you so desire to read) and it was so cool. I think next year I’m going to try to run half and he can run half!

  4. Congratulations! I finished my first half marathon in March (a trail run in the snow) and thought I would die before it was over. I’m so proud I finished even though I was in the very back of the pack, so I understand your pride and excitement. I hope to get to do it again post pregnancy.

  5. You rock! A marathon and a baby within (almost) a year. That’s two highly impressive physical accomplishments. Your thoughts on training with a family were so accurate. Every time I would go for a long distance run, I would picture all the stuff I was missing with my family and I just couldn’t commit to that much time away. Not right now. Congratulations!

  6. So I was following this last year when you went and had just met you recently (I think it was at our Christmas Coven dinner, maybe?), and I was SO AMAZED. I didn’t know real people ran these things. I thought it was for men from Zimbabwe. But you rocked.

    You still do, but now for carrying lil ole AndyZ. Different kind of rocking.

  7. I am so glad you posted this entry this morning! I am running the half-marathon on SUNDAY!! I am very nervous about it because I am NOT a runner. I am having all the same feelings you had about doing the full. I have not fully committed to the training because it is tough to be gone all the time. I have a three year old daughter and a full-time job so it is hard getting on a schedule and trying to stick to it. I do try to run everyday but I don’t always follow the training schedule. I have ran up to 8 miles and i have ran in a 3 mile and 6 mile race. I am trying to convince myself that if I just finish that I have reached my goal. I also want to think that I will RUN the whole thing but who knows. I will be glad when it is over!!

  8. Finishing a marathon is an awesome accomplishment, but when you are a mom, it is so much harder to squeeze in all those workouts, and especially those long runs. (We’ll see if I can make it through myself in a week).

    Shari, I think you are going to completely rock your half marathon! Just start out slow and you will be fine!

  9. Runnning a marathon despite your finish is an accomplishment! I ran one marathon in my life and that is it. Some people are built to run upright for that distance, I am not.

  10. I think the half marathon is my thing too-I’ve only done one, and I still can’t imagine doing the full marathon, especially because of the time commitment for the training that you described not to mention the whole running twice as many miles thing. Congratulations on accomplishing something so amazing!!

  11. Running a marathon is on my list of things to do in my 30s. (There are 30 of them.)

    I hate running, but I like a challenge.

  12. Zoot, I’ve gone back and read your entire “Operation Marathon” category so many times, I’ve lost count. You’re such an inspiration to me on that, and I’m on my way to counting myself as part of the “marathoner” group with you come December.

    PS – I read about your first half marathon with the cold/wet/blisters situation, and that is exactly what I ended up dealing with for mine last month! I think we even got blisters at the same mile marker!

  13. I remember being jealous of you. :) I was training for a June marathon…and tore my ACL in March. You finished your marathon a few days before my knee surgery. I wished it was me out running that marathon!

    But I’m back in the game – just did a 17-miler this last weekend. This is my year, baby!!

  14. You’re an amazing lady, Miss Zoot :) I remember being so very proud of you! It makes me want to at least take a shot at something like it. But it’s another of those things that goes on the “after I lose at least SOME of this weight” list.

  15. I am still jealous! Thanks for the insight. I have ran up to 11 miles at most. But I think I will attempt the marathon when I am done having kids.

    I can’t believe I have been following your blog for over a year now. I remember being so excited for you! Thanks for blogging!

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