Where do I begin with this blog? I’m not sure. It all started six months ago; June 2017 to be exact. I decided to run a full marathon. I figured I ran a half marathon when I turned 40 so at 43 a full should be OK right? I may be a bit older but I’m much stronger and more conditioned than when I was 40. I never looked back since that day last year. I was off to the races.
I trained three to four days a week straight for the next six months. I was pretty strict on my macros (not counting a few cheat meals here and there plus Thanksgiving and Christmas). I ran a couple days a week in addition to my regular weightlifting routine. My first reality hit when I paid the registration fee (non-refundable; OUCH). The next wave hit me when I downloaded the course map. Holy shit! I am going to be running through three cities. My last reality hit me the night before the race (yesterday 01/13/18). I just realized what I got myself into. I went into the race confident and well prepared. A quarterback can prepare all he wants but when he gets sacked for the first time his reality becomes his true reality. I felt like I got sacked by the great Reggie White when I passed mile twenty. Before I go into that let me recap the events preluding to that point.
I go to bed the night before at 9pm. I am a night owl so I was having trouble forcing myself to sleep. I woke up at 5am. I started late and was an hour behind the pack. I had some catching up to do. I finally caught up and finished with a time of 4:52 hours; total miles 26:61. Not bad for my first full marathon. I’m considering doing it again. I want to run it in under 4 hours.
Back to how my reality set in. I started out pretty fast. I was energized, well fueled and feeling really good. This was just like my runs at home. I past the 13 mile mark at 1:45. I’m right on pace. As I ran through Phoenix and Scottsdale my second wave of reality hit. I remember driving through these streets what the hell am I voluntarily running down the middle of them? No price money, accolades, three blondes waiting for me at the finish line; nope. I was doing this for me, my biggest most toughest opponent I have and will ever face in my life. If you do not get that statement then read it again and again until you do. Moving on.
When I hit mile 20 my third and final wave of reality crashed over me. Pain! Lots and lots of pain. No muscle cramps, (got a small cramp on my side from guzzling way to much water, gatorade and gu energy packs) but the kind of pain where my mind was having a shouting match with this pain and the pain was winning. The pain was coming from behind my legs behind the knee. On the anatomy chart the area where my pain was coming from is called the Popliteal fossa. It might have been a common peroneal nerve or tibial nerve but all as I know I wanted it to stop immediately. If I stopped running I might cramp up and I might throw in the towel. Not me. I spent way too much time and effort to not finish. I pushed through. I literally had to distract my mind or else. My mind was focused on the pain and it seemed to increase every time I acknowledged a thought which was screaming pain.
I decided use the A.A. Motto take it one day at a time. I traded in days for steps. I literally started to watch my feet. This not only took my attention away from the markers but also the pain. This slowed me down a bit but I didn’t care at this point. I kept going and passed the 22 mile mark without even realizing it. Four and a quarter miles to go. I’m feeling better at this point. Not long the pain monster reared its little ugly head. He came back about five times until the finish. Every time it surfaced I went back to watching my feet.
Onto a better, happier and more glorious reality that came at mile 26; the bridge. I knew the course fairly well from the half I ran in 2015. I new when I hit the bridge the finish was just on the other side. I took off running as fast as I could until I had nothing left. I almost fainted while they were taking my picture.
On a side note chocolate milk, 2 bananas, 2 granola bars and 2 bottles of water never tasted so good in my life. And the hot shower I took when I got home; mind blowing!
‘You Cannot Out Train A Bad Diet’