Friday, December 9, 2011

Alright #7, this time I'm ready for you

Recently I've come to the conclusion that my body is not cut out for marathons, but then again who's is? Obviously it is not normal to run for endless amounts of time, especially for us non elites that claim we do it for fun.

But, I decided that I'm going to go for #7 in spring of 2012 anyways even though I know that:

  1. I will not break any kinds of American or world records doing so
  2. There is not a chance in hell that I will win the race
  3. My body tends to like the training for the marathon part, but rebels against me in the tapering
  4. The last two three marathons I've ran it's been quite a battle and things haven't pan out too well. There was the pre Boston injury of 2008 which I neglected to take proper care of and completely derailed my training, then the mental break down during Chicago 2010, and finally this October where physical my body just said no way chica. Oh yes, all glorious moments in my life.
Looking at all of this is enough for me to say "hey it's been a good run, but it's now time to hang up my marathon shoes", yet strangely I feel quite the opposite. Sure I may not be the fastest one out there, but I know that marathons can be fun and that I can conquer this race distance.

Back in 2004 I ran my first marathon, and enjoyed every second of it. At the time I was a broke college student working 6 days a week while going to culinary school and trying to support myself on less then 1,000 bucks a month in a rather expensive city. Life was stressful and I had very little time for fitness, but I somehow managed to get in some semi-solid yet very unstructured training. My day would typically start at 3 am where I would head off to my job as a professional baker putting in a full day of kneading and whisking before heading to classes that were keeping me occupied until 9 pm. Attending a culinary program wasn't quite like other college programs and my classes would generally consist of at least 6 hour block of time in an extremely hot kitchen with crazy French chefs muttering out non stop orders and questioning why my mise en place was such a mess.

Back then I was young, broke, and determined to run a marathon so I some how made things work. After my 22 hour days I was squeezing in random runs during late evening hours on an dark barren path all by my lonesome. There was no training plan or no speed work, only the goal to finish with a smile on my face and not be murdered while training companion less at odd hours of the night. The whole idea was crazy, and so was I.

Thats my young bod in the bottom left corner.
Took me 10 minutes to cross the start line after taking my sweet time race morning

But I did just that finishing in 3:28 while the smile never faded from my face. I felt like I was living a dream and was having the time of my life. I didn't once stop for fuels, there was no Gu, I didn't own a GPS nor did I really care about my pace, I just ran. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

A blender blew up in my face a few days before the race.
It was filled with a boiling hot tomato sauce and my kitchen partner covered the blender and turned it on.
This is reason #1 why you never put hot things in a blender,
it'll blow up in someone else face.

I've never again been able to mimic those feelings of elation and excitement for what each mile will bring in a marathon, but have somehow ventured on this unending quest to do so. Marathon #7 could be another epic fail for me and in the 6 months until race day life may take me in another direction, but I jumping head first into this adventure with loose plans to do things different this time around.

Maybe that late May morning will be the day that I finally feel that glory and freedom again in a marathon, and maybe it won't. Either way, I'll be there ready to take on whatever the day may hold...smiles and all.


  1. Oh I love that first marathon story! I hope May brings the same joy.

  2. Do you know which one you're running yet?

  3. Love that story! I think your due for a kick-ass spring showing. Go get it!

  4. Ahhh, you're going to be awesome!! Can't wait to follow your training again! Yikes about that blender.

  5. Yay! You defintely can't walk away from something you love so much! #7 is going to be a great experience....I say put less pressure on yourself and just take every run for what it's worth - which is alot to us runners who love the sport!

    Freaking nuts you didn't refuel during your 3:28 - absolutely nuts!!!


  6. Good luck with #7. I'm only shooting for #2 in 2012, but I'm right there with ya' on 'not so perfect' experiences.

  7. Love this post! Can't wait to see what you can do on YOUR day!

  8. Yay! Go for it! I think you are amazing and have it in those legs of yours to pull out another amazing marathon. I am so impressed with your first marathon time. You rock!

    I am still waiting for number 1. It is planned in two years.

  9. What an awesome first race! And I love how hard you worked for it, and not in the sense you work hard for it now (because you do) but in the sense of fitting it all in when you had such a crazy school schedule (not that life isn't crazy, but hopefully you know what I mean ;) ).

    I hope you find that joy in #7!

  10. Your first race experience sounds like a great one! Looking forward to hearing about which race will be lucky #7!

  11. I believe in you and #7!!! you've got this one girlie!! which one is #7?!
    I hope you have a great weekend ahead of you! xoxo!

  12. I think most runners like to have goals, whether it's a 5k or marathon. It keeps us focused and gives us a reason to keep training. Everything else that comes along is just icing on the cake.

  13. I love the picture with you and your hubs! Beautiful! Yes, another marathon.
    Fourth time is the charm! I am going to friend you on DM, just joined:)

  14. My first marathon experience was the exact opposite to yours! But, like you, I'm seeking a more positive experience next time. Good luck! You sound very well prepared :)

  15. Your first marathon experience sounds pretty amazing! I'm sure you will rock this one and I think it's great that you are okay with not winning the marathon :)

  16. YAY! I have been waiting for you to announce are awesome and I look forward to reading your adventures leading up to it!!!

  17. Exciting!! Good luck! Don't forget to do more posts on strength training during your training!

  18. #7 is going to be your best ever. I am so so excited about this and LOVE following your marathon training. I can't wait!

  19. awesome outlook on it and u're so cute!!! best of luck to u and no matter what i kno u'll give it ur all and that is wat u should/will be proud of!

  20. YAYAY I CAN'T WAIT to hear about it, I just love following your marathon training--- although it does always make me feel like a total slacker haha!

    But seriously, I am so excited for you, you're going to kill this next one, I just know it.

  21. I loved your first marthon story. It really seemed like you enjoyed the total experience. It gets difficult to fully enjoy these events when we place too much pressure on ourselves to perform at a certain level. I'm going to remember that in 7 weeks with my next one.

    I'm looking forward to reading about your training and thoughts towards #7. :)

  22. I somehow totally missed all this party of your history -- had no idea marathon #1 was so freaking speedy, had no idea you went to culinary school....fascinating. I'll try and pay better attention.

    Cheers to marathon training!

  23. Haha...I love this story. Young and dumb...or just winging it. :) Sometimes I think we are overthinking everything with racing. The no fueling thing: I assume you trained that way too-- I did (mostly) for my first and then only drank a little on race day. Ended up being half a cup of gatorade. I think that might be all it takes for some people to run 3.5 hours.
    Best wishes for #7! I hope it's just as crazy, but fun! Perfect is boring. :)