Happy Friday! Today is my one year anniversary! No, not THAT anniversary (I’ve been married for 14 years now). It’s the anniversary of that time I ruptured my Achilles tendon in a basketball game. I’m telling you, the injury was life changing.
So one year later, here we are. I’m back to running. I’m back to marathoning. I’m even back to basketball! I said I’d PR a race within six months of being fully back to running. That didn’t quite happen. I might run a fast 8k today just to get that PR. Anybody know of one?
All in all, everything feels pretty normal now. It’s even normal enough to run a marathon now, which is what this post is REALLY about! WARNING: It’s gonna be load and detailed. Look away, non-runners. Hehe.
I had plans to run a few days of easy 3-4 milers the week of the race. I ended up running a 1.2 mile run before quitting and another 3 the next day. That was it. My beat up hip/quad were scaring me. I figured the miles weren’t going to get me more ready, but they certainly might have hurt me. Normally, I’d have been FREAKING OUT about skipping a bunch of runs, but not this time. I guess I had a calmness that goes with not trying to qualify for Boston, or PR, or anything really.
Rehoboth Beach is about 6.5 hours away from Lynchburg. I planned on running 2 miles to shake the travel off of my legs, but I had 2 beers instead. I blame the company that I chose to keep. 🙂
The morning of the race, I always wake up pretty early. Rehoboth’s start time is 7am and I was up by 5am. This doesn’t seem THAT early but since we had about an 8 minute walk to the starting line and there isn’t much of a crowd to fight through, it was MORE than enough time. I decided to do things a little differently than in the past. Generally I eat something, but I keep it to a minimum. This time around I FEASTED. I had a peanut butter bagel, a banana, a BCAA drink and a cup of “from the hip” coffee (thank you, Mr. Bacon). I figured if God blessed me with an iron gut I should take advantage and load up!
The weather was set to be COLD (like sub 30) so there was much confusion about what to wear. As my running buddies know (mostly YOU, Alissa), I tend to overdress for these occasions. I rolled with shorts with compression socks and a short sleeved shirt with armsleeves. I had a Buff on my head, pirate style to match my pirate shorts. I dressed for mile 20 and not mile 0. I hope you’re proud of me!
Several of us started out together and then we all sort of branched out and did our things. I ended up running a ton of the time with Mr. Bacon and Carissa. The first few miles were right on pace with my goal, which was to run. I felt very comfortable, other than the nagging discomfort in my quad that I’d been avoiding all week. Amazingly, it wore off after the first 4-5 miles or so. The rest paid off (I think).
Around mile 8, I definitely warmed up and was feeling good. The pace noticeably sped up. At mile 16 I was feeling GREAT. I started the countdown from 10 in my head (I hear that works, Mai) and was thinking about the great 10k that I was going to finish with. Then mile 20 came. I finished up all of the Gu and caffeine I had left (I needed more). Mr. Bacon stayed with me, even though he had more left in the tank. He ran a GREAT race despite being unprepared. I finally talked him into leaving me behind shortly after.
Miles 20-24 were the typical craptastic miles that they always are. I maintained better than I have for some marathons but clearly I slowed down. There were some short walks. Honestly, I was SO HAPPY at this point knowing I was definitely going to finish that my motivation to push through kind of ran out. I mean after all, I ruptured my freakin’ Achilles.
The last couple of miles come back into town and it’s like a little victory parade. I saw several people that had come in from the half and were there to cheer us on and that really helps. I ate some Red Vines (not Twizzlers) that somebody awesome had a bucket of.
I saved enough energy to enjoy the amazing beer tent and post-race festivities. Don’t ask me how. I guess you just have to want it badly enough. For dinner I had TWO meals at the same time, a steak wrap and a kid’s chicken tenders with fries. They were like the best chicken tenders I’ve ever had, but there were only TWO. Come on, man!!!
Sunday morning I gathered myself together and drove
six nine hours (thank you, snowstorm) home to Virginia. I was EXHAUSTED but so thankful that I got through the storm and got to see and hug my wife/kids. I really wasn’t sure I’d make it. The roads were SCARY.
I really don’t feel too awful for having run all those miles when I was already not feeling great. I’m going to run tomorrow and see how it feels.
I’ve had faster marathons and I’ve had slower ones, but this one will ALWAYS be special. When we’re young we feel invincible. That feeling doesn’t die until you’re knocked to the ground. Getting back to this makes me feel a little bit invincible again.