Go the Distance

14 Feb

This past Saturday was a huge day for me. I was attempting to run further than I’d ever run before. The marathon training goal was 7 miles. The most I’d ever run previously was 6 miles all the way back in October. The most I’d run since beginning marathon training was 5. I promised myself that if I made it through this new distance, I could keep conquering new distances and therefore really, truly do the marathon. So if I made it through on Saturday, then on Sunday I was going to officially register for the Denver Rock & Roll Marathon.

We had gorgeous weather here on Saturday, and I set out on the trail armed with my CamelBak, iPod and gummy worms (for when I got drop in blood sugar and hit the wall). It’s a trail with small elevation gains and is more like slightly rolling hills. The first 3.5 miles were a piece of cake. I figured I had this thing and no worries. I was going to rock the marathon. Granted, I was going fairly slow when I ran—4.2mph, but I wasn’t focusing on speed only accomplishing my distance.

I turned around and it still wasn’t even so bad. I was feeling pretty confident. The confidence got depleted slightly when I came across other runners who were around 6.0mph, but I didn’t care. Suddenly at mile 5.25, I was spent. I started to freak out that I couldn’t go another 2 miles and I was ready to curl up and die. The dream was over. After a few minutes, I remembered my sugary gummy goodness snack in my CamelBak pocket.

I inhaled 5 gummy worms and drank some water and rested a few minutes. Suddenly, I had a burst of energy and kept on going. The last .75 miles was brutal as most of it was uphill, and I was extremely exhausted. My legs had turned to stone around mile 6. But I kept plodding on, and finally I reached the parking lot at the trailhead. I had completed 7.18 miles, so over my goal. It was a tragically slow pace (14:03 mile), which I wouldn’t even complete the marathon in the required 6 hrs at that pace, but I didn’t care at that moment.

I was so proud of myself, so full of joy. My doctor told me I could never run again after my surgery. I know I keep bringing this point up, but I’m still baffled every time I get further and further. It’s such a rush to defy that doctor with each extra mile.

On Sunday morning, I officially registered for the Denver Rock & Roll Marathon on October 9. I am going to be a marathoner, even if it takes me 5:59:59.

2 Responses to “Go the Distance”

  1. laurapayette February 15, 2011 at 12:41 PM #

    NICE JOB!!! Seriously — way to persevere. Refueling and taking a quick rest can definitely help. Also, as you well know now, running is as mental as it is physical. Be kind to yourself. And if you want a cheerleader on race day (or even someone to jump in and run with you a bit — if I’m not pregnant again), let me know. 🙂

  2. Noel D. February 17, 2011 at 5:28 AM #

    Oh wow thanks so much for the offer. I definitely may take you up on that. I MIGHT have recruited a friend to run it with me, but not sure. Either way, could definitely use some help and encouragement!

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