Preparing for a marathon is a tough thing. And, the past couple of weeks that’s really been on my mind as of late. My weekly runs haven’t been that bad, but my looooong runs on Saturdays the past couple of weeks have just killed me. My half marathon killed me and Saturday’s 18 miler killed me. My quads took the brunt of it. Which really to me just means I really need to do more hills. I won’t deny that. During the winter months it was easier for me to jump on a treadmill than run outside in the dark before or after work. Now with daylight savings time I really don’t have an excuse.
Physically and mentally it has been tough. But, the one thing I love about marathon training is that it’s suppose to be that way. There’s no other way around it. In order to properly prepare yourself for those 26.2 miles you have to challenge yourself. This is true from the very seasoned marathoner to the first-time marathoner, the fastest marathoners and even to the slowest. This is one reason I love running, because it’s what kind of bonds us runners together. The paths may be different that lead us there, but come race day we all run that same course together. I love that.
That course really brings everyone together. And, it really doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are. It doesn’t matter how many marathons you have under your belt or how long you’ve been running. You just run it. There’s a sense of empathy among runners on the course because they also understand the work, miles and tears you put in for that moment. A marathon is truly a remarkable experience for some of those very reasons. That’s why I hate seeing injured runners hobbling at mile 17, because I could only imagine how hard it was for them to get to that point.
Even though it has been over 18 months since my last marathon I am glad that I am undertaking another one. I’ve needed this challenge in my life. I needed this wake up call. I needed to fall in love with running all over again. And, I have to say that this go around it truly has been a life changing experience. Going through this training and challenge with my RA running group has made the whole difference. Seeing others train for their marathons, some their 100th-plus and some their first has been a great experience for me. It’s renewed that love on such a different level.
Come June I know I’ll just be itching to run my marathon and see where that takes me.
But, for now I’m just running and enjoying it. Challenges and all, because I know where this road leads.