Training for a Marathon

by | Feb 24, 2009 | Health | 14 comments

I am training for a marathon. Why would I consider doing such a thing? Well, I did not come to this on my own. No. I have a friend who, like a farmer sells his cattle to the Walmart meat department… Katie leads me into things like marathons. 

The longest distance I ever ran (before last Sunday) was 13.1 miles. On Sunday, we surpassed our previous training and completed 13.5 miles. The bad: I had a mild belly ache most of the time, and a bit of a sore throat, and had to walk a bit due to “hills” (more on that later). The good: I lived and am not sore at all. After my first half-marathon I was sore for 3 days. I woke up Monday morning feeling.. well… really nothing. I could take this to mean that I could have pushed harder, OR I could take it to mean I am made of Awesome. Guess which one I choose? 

Can I talk about hills a little? I hate them. Except I also love them. I love the “down” part of hills. I hate the “up” part. However, because I am smart, I know there is no “down” without the “up”. I am a firm believer that I’d rather have a hilly course than a flat one – except while I am on an uphill – then… plug your ears. 

There was one hill on Sunday… We knew we would need to walk it. But that doesn’t mean when I saw it I didn’t “gasp” at it’s enormity. I’ve taken a moment to make an illustration. I call it a “Runner’s Guide to Discerning Hill Grade”:

We did not start the hill with a walk. No. We tried to run a *ahem* portion. We ran to the cross… this one:

I know. So sad. What happened here? Oh:

As if the hill didn’t create enough stress… At the crest of the hill we met an angry dog. Yet again, another illustration:

Katie jumped right into my arms. Since I was nearly attacked by a mean-old dog in my younger years, I had wisdom on my side. People… this is what ya do — stay calm. Do not run from the dog. Since we were already walking, we just kept walking… and breathing.

When I was nearly eaten by a dog many years ago, my childhood bestie, Jen, and I were walking to her house, my sleepover gear in tow.

Satan-dog didn’t have his gate closed… so he came at us with all his teeth. I dropped all my stuff, froze and screamed bloody murder. Jen… ran. Satan-dog-of-our-lives chased her. Thank heavens she flew on top of a neighbor’s car. Fortunately for us, the owner got him before he decided to come back for the frozen girl in the middle of the street.***

Back to “running”… What goes up must come down, and down we went. Katie’s daughter is on the h.s. track team and told us it is better on the joints to run backwards down steep hills. So… we did. And… it really did feel better. However, I got a bit of a fit of the giggles about how we must have looked running backwards… and then all I could imagine was me rolling down the rest of the way… 

Why do I set goals that require effort? Note to self: next time set a goal where a nap on the couch is part of the training.



We made it home. Our 13.5 mile jaunt took 2 hours and 30 minutes. My last half last June (13.1 miles) took us 1 hour and 58 minutes. However… I never stopped to take pictures, or Tweet, nor did I did have a belly ache and sore throat… nor were there 3 hills of death at that race.

All in all… for Sunday… just finishing was a victory. 


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