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Monday, July 2, 2012

The One About What I Learned From Running 22.7 Miles

Thank you for all of your kind words about my last 2 posts, I really appreciate your support!

I may have left D.C. broken hearted over not accomplishing what I went there for, but I did not come back empty handed. It took me a while to move past the hurt and disappointment but I knew that if I only focused on what didn’t happen then I would never grow as a person or as a runner. So I have made a list of the things that I DID learn while on my journey to running 22.7 miles.

For starters, even though I haven’t ever actually run 26.6 miles I did learn that I am fully capable of doing it. One of the hardest parts about training for your first marathon is all the questions of “can I really do this?” and “am I capable of that distance?” For me, those questions are now answered. I know what it takes to reach my goal and I know how much time and energy is needed to achieve it. I know what I can and cannot do and for most people that’s all that matters.

I know that I do not like getting up on Saturday mornings at 5:30 to do a long run, but I love how I feel when I see the miles add up on my Garmin

I know that I have the most amazingly supportive family and friends. In fact, my friends had planned a welcome home reception at the airport for me (which after my disappointment I declined, but the thought was so overwhelmingly sweet!)
I know now that I am capable of traveling alone and actually kind of like it. I don’t think I will be doing all of my travelling solo but I am looking at what races I have coming up and I’m wondering if there are any that I might just enjoy on my own.
I know that I don’t like running with music. I know, I’m weird! But I would much rather listen to the sound of my feet on the pavement and the others around me than constant beats in my head.

I have learned that while the Rock ‘N Roll race series is a very good series and they have a seemingly good reputation, I will probably not spend the money to race one of their races again. I have learned through all the countless races that I have done that the cheap ones are just as good as the expensive ones. Now don’t get me wrong, you do get what you pay for in most cases; like for example some races hand out GU packets, which is a nice perk and most of the bigger races will never run out of water or Gatorade. But the smaller races that are just as nice and sometimes better. I understand that there is more energy, the medal and shirts are better and so on at the bigger races. But honestly, most of my favorite races are the middle of the pack races. Tulsa is a good example; it wasn’t too big (meaning less than 5 corrals) but there were plenty of people along the course as course support and plenty of runners to make it an enjoyable and energetic day. That race cost me $40.

I honestly do not blame Rock ‘N Roll for what happened in D.C. it was just a chain of unfortunately events and they were simply acting upon city rules. But I do blame them for not making runners more informed of the situation. They could have been more clear on their website about what the time limit meant. They could have communicated better to runners at the expo or through emails. And they could have started the race on time.  But what’s done is done. I only hope that they took notes and that next year some slow, new runner has a better experience than I do.

So, the next time I toe the line for a marathon I will do so with much more confidence. I know that I am fully capable of running 22.7 miles, it’s those 3.4 other miles that I’m a little bit afraid of….
But in all seriousness, the disappointment will not get me down but instead I will use it to fuel my efforts for my next one, and the one after that and the ones after that! So here’s to running 22.7 miles and many more!

On the workout agenda for this week:
Monday – Treadmill 5K in the new shoes, elliptical for 45 min and some weights
Tuesday – tennis for 90 min
Wednesday – Liberty 10K race
Thursday – spin class and weights
Friday – rest day
Saturday – 5 mile run

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