49 months ago, when I went out for my first run in over 20 years, never in my wildest dreams did I think that I'd be attempting a marathon, much less even thinking about one. In fact, I distinctly recall a conversation I had with my running partner back then, saying I wasn't even interested in running a HALF marathon. I couldn't fathom running for 2-plus hours.
But here I am, 20 days away from lining up for the Marine Corps Marathon. Yesterday I completed a 22-mile training run, in just under 3 hours, 45 minutes. Two 20-milers within 4 weeks. a 173-mile month of September. And I've probably eaten more spaghetti, pancakes, and potatoes in the past 5 weeks that I care to think about.
It's almost here.
My whole lower body aches. My left calf has been screaming at me for the past 2 weeks now. My right foot, where I had a bout of plantar fasciitis a couple months ago, is reminding me to not forget about him. My right hip flexor wants my attention as well. But it's too close to let any of that affect me. This is within my grasp.
Going in to this, my goal was to just finish the race. A few weeks into training, with the stifling heat & humidity, I was wondering if it was all worth it. Monster Month came, and I regained my confidence. And yesterday's run, while it was excruciatingly difficult, affirmed the fact that, yeah, I can finish this thing. I have a time goal, but that takes a back seat to just finishing. My ultimate goal for MCM would be a 4:08:00, which is a 9:30 pace. Depending on how I come out of the hills early in the race, that could be doable. More likely, I'm looking at a 4:15-4:20 finish (9:45 to 10:00 pace). I'd be happy with that.
I've received tons of motivation & help from a lot of people these past 17 weeks, and for that I'm extremely grateful. It's helped me get through this. But I can see that finish line now. It's that close. When and if I cross that finish line, it will be my biggest personal athletic achievement of my 47+ years.
From 275 pounds and grossly out-of-shape in April 2007 to potentially being called "marathoner" in October 2012 is beyond words for me.
Tramps like us...