Fall marathon season is slowly winding down. One of my favorite times of the year, I've been reading a lot of marathon recaps. It never gets old. I find a lot of inspiration from my fellow bloggers. Sure, some runners make it look easy. Wouldn't that be nice? Most of us know that running a marathon isn't easy.
There's something special about crossing that finish line. All those miles training and it comes down to one day. Your training may have gone perfectly and suddenly, you have hip pain. Or you have tummy issues and need to make multiple portapotty stops. Maybe it's the weather. No matter what the circumstances, the marathon is where you are forced to dig deep and drive to the finish line.
Skipping the race? Nope.
Quitting? Not an option.
Have you ever run a marathon? Have you ever spectated a marathon?
For marathon participants, there's only one goal: the finish line. But a lot can happen in 26.2 miles. Actually, a lot can happen before the runners even line up for the race.
I'm reading this month's book club selection: Jason Karp's The Inner Runner. Last night I read his thoughts about injury and having to take time off running. He ponders how runners hate taking time off for injury, and how so many runners push through injuries, determined to finish no matter what. What drives us to do that? As he says: Running empowers us and strengthens us to do things that we wouldn't or couldn't otherwise do."
Most recently, my friend Marcia ran the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I followed her training. She struggled with motivation during her training but made it to the start line. Her race recap showed how determined she was not to quit. Portapotties? There weren't enough. Corrals? No one paid attention. Yet she kept pushing forward.
My friend Holly, who ran Chicago in October, fell at mile 12. She got herself to the aid station and got patched up. She didn't like the way she was bandaged and made the medical personnel rebandage her legs. When we saw her at mile 13, all she could do was laugh. And finish.
Amanda posted 2 recaps of her recent MCM. The good came first. But the bad was bad. Her first marathon was not the experience she dreamed of. A crowded course and rude participants made this a tough race for her. But she persevered.
Kim just ran NYCM. While she hasn't posted her race recap yet, she hinted on her most recent blog post that she didn't run the race she planned. But she finished!
I can't help but include my Big Sur experience. When my PF became so bad that I couldn't walk, much less run, I was determined to line up for this bucket list dream race no matter what. My training wasn't optimal, but not only did I get to the start line, but I ran a pain-free, albeit slow 26.2. DNS? DNF? Not happening.
Actually, only one of my four marathons went without a hitch. That race, my second Chicago marathon, was the one where everything fell into place. I'm glad I had that race. But the Chicago marathon I ran the following year was the one that brought me the most pride. That was the race where the wheels tried to come off the bus at mile 14. Plagued by a migraine and nausea, I dug deep, gave up my goal of a BQ, and made up my mind that I was going to finish proud. Which I did. That determination got me to the finish.
I'm training for a half marathon in 3 weeks. I'm struggling with my endurance, and looking back, this has been an issue for me for a while. I could give up on long distances. I could blame it on my age. I could blame it on menopause. I could blame it on my IBS. I might become a meme. I could quit. I'm not there yet. I love to run.
I'm looking at my training, trying to find something to make it happen for me. I've got some ideas about what I need to do (slow down, maybe?) to get me to go the distance. As always, long distance running is a work in progress. I'll share my successes as well as my failures. We learn from each other.
For now, I am determined to fight the good fight, to run the races I still know I have in me. Keep posting your recaps. The good, the bad, the ugly--you inspire me. Running, we're all in it together.
What inspires you to push harder? How determined are you to push yourself?
Today's Wednesday Word is determination. Check out all the other posts at DebRuns!
I'm also linking up with Debbie, Lora, Susie, and Rachel at Coaches' Corner!