Back in My Shoes

I had a really hard time making myself run after my marathon. I had hoped to keep up with at least 25-mile weeks to maintain my running capabilities, but I think my body and mind really just needed a rest. I eventually gave in and allowed myself to take some time, only heading out to run once or twice a week.

Alex is running these days, so if not for him inviting me on his runs, I might not even have done that. Hooray for Alex. Plus, he runs faster than I do, so he’s helping me with my “get faster” plan.

I am the type of person who needs an event hanging over my head to induce some panic training, so I wanted to put something threatening on my calendar that would force me into the streets.

Cue the Marine Corps Marathon 17.75K.

This is an 11.03-mile race that, if/when you finish, you are guaranteed entry into the Marine Corps Marathon in October. Registration was last Friday. It opened at 11am, which is when I registered. By the time I got home from work at 3pm and I looked at the site again, it was sold out. Phew! Glad I put reminders on my work calendar to sign up.

Happily, now I have a threatening event on my calendar—a marathon in October. Yikes! Also, however, I have to run this goddamn 11-miler, which, it turns out, looks fucking hard. (Hills, gravel roads, 11 miles, etc.)

Too bad I haven’t been running because that race is in five weeks. Double yikes.

Cue panic training.

I’ve just filled out my training calendar with every run I am taking between now and October 22. Seriously. Give me a date and I can tell you how far and how fast I’ll be running that day. I’m pretty excited about the whole thing.

As long as I’m telling you about my running, I might as well tell you about the race I ran this weekend, which was called the Sykesville Shiver Shuffle even though it was 70-degrees outside and most people were wearing shorts. It made the guy there in the snowman costume look ironic. And it made the people who were running in Hawaiian shirts look less ironic.

This was just a 5k race, but its motto is apparently “Kill the hill!” because there is a big hill they make you run up. I was told that the first mile is uphill and then it is either flat or downhill with a one-mile all-downhill stretch at the end. That is all a bunch of lies though because every time I turned a corner, hey, guess what, another motherfucking hill. When I turned the corner with .75 miles to go and was confronted by another hill, I flat-out told the guy at the turn that this course was BULLSHIT. Because it was.

Regardless, it was a super fun course and at least they weren’t lying about the downhill stretch to the finish. It was one of those downhills where you just have to commit to gravity and have confidence that you aren’t going to fall because if you do, you are going to lose six or seven layers of your face. And probably a kneecap.

Photo of me running downhill. My hair is flying all round the back of my head.

I include this photo from the race mostly because my hair is fucking hilarious in it. While *I* was committed to gravity, my ponytail was not.

Regardless of hills, I still ran pretty fast, averaging about 11-minute miles, which is awesome for me. Yay, gravity!

Anyway, get prepared to hear lots of whining from me as I train over the course of the next few months because if marathon training in the winter in DC was obnoxious, imagine what marathon training in DC during the summer is going to be like. Blerg. Stupid Extremely Recent Past Stimey signing me up for this. But at least she’s getting me running again.

 

6 thoughts on “Back in My Shoes

  1. Jean, like Erin said! It’s awesome how you went from “couch to 5k” [?], to future you running the Marine Corps marathon!
    Also, re this: “have confidence that you aren’t going to fall because if you do, you are going to lose … probably a kneecap.”
    Um. Years ago, I tripped on a broken sidewalk while running, and pitched fwd onto one knee.
    Also? As I was holding something in my hand, I didn’t properly break my fall, so I tore off two nails.
    A recent mri showed a partial ACL tear, which fortunately won’t require surgery. I might even go to PT a couple of times to confirm exercises to protect my knee from further damage. I love PT. :)
    I stick to walking now, and am happy to have walked about 3.5 miles a few days ago. Trying to establish a routine.

    Sorry for the long message. Best wishes with your races!

    • First, good for you for going 3.5 miles. That’s no small thing! Rock on, you! As for the knee, that is probably a window in to my future as I am very clumsy. That sucks about the ACL tear, but great news about no surgery. Also, you might have saved your wrists from damage by not breaking your fall, so possible silver linings?

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