The answer really is 42.2

This Sunday I ran a marathon – and it took a looooong time

And while I was out there I got a lot of thinking done.

It’s funny how running 42.2km turns into an inner struggle to keep moving forward. I’d been warned it might but since my previous big triumphs (the 1/2 marathons) didn’t have this type of struggle I wasn’t convinced
Perhaps if I hadn’t been running alone it wouldn’t have
The first 8k was great, sailing along on pace and every thing was good. I had to keep adjusting as I was slipping into my half pace and that was too fast
I could not locate any pace bunnies and that was a bit of a pisser as I knew I needed the disapline to keep on track
As we started towards camousun hill I started to hyperventilate. I’m sure it was nerves. I killed this same hill a few weeks before but I wasn’t as confident yesterday
Part way up my pace group from the clinic caught up to me (they had started slow). We ran together for a while but despite starting slow they were running faster than I wanted to so I sent them off a head.
I twisted my ankle in a pot hole around 12k but kept on trucking
Sailing down NE Marine at 20.5k I suddenly couldn’t breathe. It was like I had plastic over my mouth. My hr was in the right zone and my legs were good but I couldn’t catch my breath.
Took a quick break and got back to work
21.1 time was 2:32. Pretty good as I was shooting for a 5 hour finish
But then things went to hell
My legs started asking why I was still running and my stomach started to ask me to stop drinking and eating. It was warm and no sea breeze despite being along the beach.
I started arguing with myself and tried to focus on some of the advice our coach had given us.
One thing I really took away from this clinic is that a marathon is mental as well as physical. When I used to look at the marathon clinic people as they headed out I was always in awe of them, some of them just look like athletes. Trim, toned and tough. Something to aspire too. Something you think you can never be.
Our coach projected this as well but he used some good tips to get his newbs at ease.
He fessed up that he puked during his first 1/2 marathon and had cried on more than one race.
If a 1/2 iron man finisher and sub 4 hour marathoner goes through the “what am I doing?” weepies every time and comes out strong it makes them human, it taught us we could be one of them.
I never learned that in 1/2 training!
In 1/2 training it was all about being disaplined and consistent. Keep on your ten/1’s.
But Bill told us to walk when we need to, sit on he curb if you need to and get up and keep going when you are ready.
So I walked
And talked with myself
And thought about what running this marathon really meant to me.
If you asked me a week ago I would have given you a different answer than today.
I’d walk then jog and walk again all the while trying to throw off the last 10 years of pain
Of heartbreak, self loathing. Soul crushing loneliness
5 years ago a big ball of fur helped
3 years ago starting to loose weight helped
Oct 2011, when I ran my first 1/2 it helped
Earlier this week when I got to my race goal weight and noticed a handsome man watching me it helped
But walk/running up from the kits point to the burrard street bridge did it
Coming up from the beach and running over the bridge I could see where the crest was. I walked to the 30k flag and started to jog again, confident I could make the whole 42.2k
And I knew that when I crossed the finish line that the old me would finally be dead.
Rounding by the lighthouse my legs started to falter but at this point a Dnf was not an option.
I looked at the inspiration signs and one struck home “the voice inside your head that says you can’t do this is a liar.”

I did it and the race nailed that dammed coffin shut forever on the ugly fat girl.


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