March 22, 2013
26.2 miles. The distance of a marathon. The race, other than ultramarathons, that requires the most time from my daily life. Unless you are a certified Marathon Maniac or one in spirit who is marathoning at least once a month, there really is this thing called "training."
Oh, so back to the 26.2. My first week of running unearthed the newbie runner legs. It was weird, this pain I felt, deep in my muscles, a bruising, hot sensation, the sledgehammer effect of landing on my feet over and over. Day four, my first run on pavement, was excruciating. I had done 3, 5 and then 6 miles on the indoor YMCA track the previous days and think the new mileage took its toll on my body. It was only 3.5 miles outdoors and I had been contemplating "running" the St. Patty's Day half marathon the next day. The cutoff was 3 hours and a walk/jog might work but this run sealed the deal. All bets were off. The Leprechaun had left the building. The pot o' gold was stolen.
To finish my first week of running, I did another 5 and 3.72 miles. Here's the awesome thing. My weekly total mileage totaled 26.2 miles. I didn't plan it but there it is. Just a coincidence. Sure. Could be. Personally I believe there is something greater going on in this world, the unseen forces that many can't or don't want to recognize. It's such a small thing, 26.2 miles. I look at it as a little gesture of faith and reassurance, something I can hold onto while I'm struggling to run faster than 10 minute miles. It's a reminder that even in the small things, I am loved and remembered.
As I am finishing off week two, my legs have recovered from the initial broken concrete feeling to almost no soreness. My foot doesn't feel 100% yet but my times have improved. My easy run started at 11 minute miles and this week I have a couple of runs that averaged in the low 9s!
My next race on the schedule is the Yakima Marathon set for April 6th. Yes, really. I signed up last year and shouldn't do it. Probably. But I might. It starts just minutes away from my daughter's campus and it has a 7 hour cutoff. That's a 16 minute per mile average. That's TWO TIMES my normal marathon pace. I say, GAME ON! My family says, "What?!? WHAT?!??" I don't know what my doctor says because I'm not telling him. Hopefully I won't have to tell him on April 7th.