Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Runner

So a few weeks ago I once again set out to run a marathon with my dear running partner. We were well prepared, confident, we had a four page written running plan with every detail worked out down to the settings on our iPhones. When I say prepared, I mean we've run on hills, we've run more miles, we've cross trained, we've run in the snow, we've run against the wind, we've run in rain, we've spoken happy and positive thoughts and we had a four page written plan.

Here are some learnings:
  1. Don't bother making a plan when running a marathon. 
  2. Running a marathon is not twice as hard as running a half marathon. It is like eleventy billion times harder.
  3. If you've trained all winter and spring in cool or cold weather, then a sudden warm spell with wind is a real delighter on marathon weekend.
  4. Mental toughness, grit, focus and similar might be needed.
  5. During the later stages of the run, one reconsiders one's friends or any future plans related to running in any form.
  6. Camaraderie is really important when doing really hard things. 
  7. If after the finish, one thinks about going into the medical tent, then one should go into the medical tent.
I stumbled across this great post entitled, What I Learned From Running My Slowest Half Marathon Ever that talks about just finishing well is a great thing. And in fact, learning to finish well in all we do is something to strive for with a projects, our days and our running. My running partner always finishes strong with a burst of running at the end, that is, she finishes well.

I did finish. I've now done two full marathons and four official half-marathons and countless training runs longer than a half-marathon.

I don't run as well as I want or aspire to run. I walk too much. But I enjoy striving to get better and running longer and most days, I'm really glad to just be out there as the sun rises.

I'm reading the book, Runner's World The Runner's Brain: How to Think Smarter to Run Better and in one of the early chapters is says to stop saying you did poorly, or that you are not very fast or that you are not a good runner. It says, tell people you are a runner. You are out there and you are doing it.

I should point out that 241 days from today, I'll be doing another one of these in a magical place.


  1. "eleventy billion" is a number only runners can understand, because it's so true.

    1. It is a slight exaggeration, but the intent and meaning is clear.

  2. I've known you for 49 years, 3 months and some days. Of all of your accomplishments, this is the one that most impresses. You set your mind to it...and you did it. It's not about "time" or "pace". It's about setting a goal and achieving it. You did it...twice. You continue to impress. Keep it up.

    1. Thanks Jay. We get older and we have to do more of these kinds of things to cling to our youth, be alive and press ahead. It is so worth it to be out there in the mornings and it is so worth it to do hard things.

  3. Congrats on finishing! Sorry it was so rough this time! Every race is a different beast - at least that's what Dan says.