Sunday, June 23, 2013

You CAN Run a Marathon on Little or No Training!

Title credit: Lisa F.  (subtitle "True story, Bro")

Ah.  Grandma's Marathon.  I signed up in a fit of athletic stupidity last year.  I started training, then got a new job, and well....stopped training. 

Ok, I didn't STOP stop, I just...stopped except for long runs.  Except when I didn't feel like it.  Then I didn't do long runs either. 

I did do a 15 miler!  Sort of.  I got water belly at mile 10, so I didn't actually "run" 15 miles.  I walked/ran the last 5 miles.  Pretty much only because my car was 5 miles away.  I know.  I'm a total badass.

In June I raced 2 10ks and did a Ragnar!  And that was all.  Seriously.  Aside from one commute run I didn't run a step in June that wasn't a race.  Maybe that will become my new training philosophy: I run for t-shirts.  I will ONLY run if I'm going to get cheered at and handed a tshirt and a medal at the end.  Sounds fair.

So I ran a marathon on Saturday.  The weather was shitty.  Seriously shitty.  It rained on Thursday and was so foggy that Duluth was invisible on the hill.  Friday? Rain and invisible Duluth.  Saturday? Invisible everything.

We ate and drank beer on Thursday.  Friday we went to the aquarium and to a movie (Star Trek: Into Darkness.  See it.  Zachary Quinto is hot.), then ate and drank.  Saturday we ran.

It was so foggy that Lake Superior was invisible.  I could hear it, but couldn't see it.  The runners around me vanished in the fog rolling off the water, then reappeared only to vanish again.  It was like a bad zombie movie (especially at the back of the pack). 

My strategy was simple:  Don't breathe hard.  Keep it easy and just go as long as you can.  I felt pretty fucking phenomenal until mile 10, and even then I felt pretty good.  One bad thing?  I lost close to 20 minutes overall to port-a-john breaks.  10 of them at mile 5.  Can you say gastric emergency?  I can.  Still, aside from answering nature's call more frequently than seemed normal, I kept moving. 

This race was different than my first (failed) marathon and my do-over.  I was in a good place mentally.  I told my husband "My only goal is to finish upright and smiling" and I achieved it.  In spite of the rain, the gut busting, the fog, and my complete training fail, I felt strong at the end.  What helped?  Finding a friend in the fog!  The completely awesome Lisa F. from my 2012 Ragnar Chicago van was on the course.  She and I leap-frogged a couple of times at the port-a-johns and I thought I'd lost sight of her for good when her neon self appeared ahead of me in the shifting fog.  I picked up my pace to catch her and fell in for the last 3ish miles.  She said her hip was hurting, and I was just lonely, so we finished the last few miles together.  When the rain started I was especially glad to have a friend as that would have pretty much taken the wind out of my sails.  Instead I got to finish happy in 5:49:11.  Upright and smiling.  That's me.

Afterwards I rewarded myself with a small snack
Don't judge me.
Then a nap and a big steak dinner.  I was off to dreamland before 10pm.  Because I am old.  With all this "I'll only run if you give me a medal" I may need a new medal hanger soon.
This one will look great in my living room.
There were several awesome things about this weekend:
1.  Being there when my husband finished his first marathon in 5:11:01
2. Spending time with two of my best friends that I hardly ever get to see
3. Seeing my friend's husband achieve his goal of completing a marathon after rehabbing an injury
4. Seeing (and getting to finish with!) one of my Panty Raiders
5. Finishing my 2nd marathon
The weather was shit, but the weekend was good.  I'm done marathoning until I hit 40, though.  There just isn't time for that kind of training in my life right now.  This is the summer of CrossFit, and I'm excited to get started again. 
Whew.  Two blog posts in one day.  I'm exhausted.


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