Last Friday felt like Christmas morning with tens of thousands of us waiting in anticipation for the results of the 2013 Nike Women’s Marathon San Francisco random lottery draw.
Inspired, in part, by the tragic events at this year’s Boston Marathon, I had entered on a whim, thinking it would be cathartic way in which to show my support and solidarity by running for those who cannot.
And then, at 10:34 a.m., I saw this in my inbox:
My initial elation at the thought of being able to cross the finish line was followed quickly by a wave of anxiety: Only if I’m able to get to the starting line this time.
See, my brain loves running…but my body? Well, that can be an entirely different story.
Short distances never posed a problem during my high school track & field and cross country days. But whenever I decide to step up the distance, I seem to get schooled in the darker side of endurance running.
My first (and last) successful attempt at 26.2 miles was the Chicago Marathon in 2002. The goal was just to finish the race, and even with a few unplanned pit stops (thanks to a small bladder, plus a propensity for runner’s trots, ugh), I crossed the line in a respectable 4:27:13.
Fast forward a few years, add in an overzealous attempt for a personal record (PR) and a serious lack of stretching and cross training, and little did I know, I was creating my very own recipe for marathon disaster.
Sure, I came out of the training gate with a bang…but it all ended with a whimper a few weeks before what I hoped would be my second marathon in New York City. What started as a sharp pain in my hip culminated in a visit to the doctor’s office where I was told I could run the race, but in doing so, I’d most likely break my hip.
So I took some time off. To heal, yes (both physically and mentally), but also to get back to the drawing board about what it would take to again tackle the 26.2-mile monkey on my back.
Since then, I’ve developed a new-found appreciation for overall wellness, which includes complimentary (read: non-running) forms of fitness, better nutrition and a more balanced approach to training – and living, really.
So my plan this time around? Taking on 26.2…on my terms.
Training starts this week, so I invite you to follow along over the next four months or so as I embark on my journey back to the starting line.
Stay tuned for my training plan, the low-down on those long runs, experiments with nutrition and gear…and more!