Monday, February 16, 2009
Run like a kid, train like a focused athlete
It's been a month since I finished my first marathon.
And I think it really might be my first. I could do another. I trained really well, running plenty of long runs. When I started the race I had no doubt that I could do the 26.2 miles.
Some miles during the race were more of a struggle than the rest .. well really only during the 17th and 23rd miles did I think, 'When will this bloody thing be over?'
I wasn't fast, but I did it. 26.2 miles. At 23.5, I got a little teary and then said to myself, "I'm Finishing. A. Marathon."
It was fantastic. My support crew was great. My brother and his daughter flew in from DC so he could run the half marathon and my niece and partner, Sue, cheered us on from the sidelines. The spectacle really was a lot of fun.
But it wasn't until 2 weeks after the race that I realized why I did it. Why I run.
As the race came near and my road training became more intense, I had avoided running in the desert. I didn't want to turn an ankle.
But that's what I did two weeks after the marathon. I went out to a beautiful spot east of Phoenix and ran a 5-mile loop in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains.
I scrambled up and down dried-out washes, leaping over rocks and around cactus. The desert looks beautiful in the winter ... lush, Sonoran lush.
In the desert, I can run like a kid. Free and fun. But the discipline of marathon training was also very good. Setting a goal, breaking it down, biting off all the small bites that add up to that elephant.
So, yeah, I may run another marathon. But the next time I'm going to look for ways to keep the training just a little more fun.
Robin, Tempe, Arizona