I ran my first marathon in May of 2010. It hurt.
Everyone thinks that if you ran a marathon you must have run everyday for a year leading up to it. You must eat nothing but health food to fuel those grueling work outs. Athlete’s treat their bodies like temples after all. You must be long and lean. While I try not to dispel these rumors, because they make me look good, the fact is that none of those were true for me. Although, the fact that I am neither long nor lean could not be hidden.
Did I want to be that person that people thought I was? Heck yeah I did. So I never told people I only ran once every few weeks, and actually only once in the month and half before the marathon. I eat whatever I want because I’m “marathon training”, and my muscles were so sore after the race that I hobbled around my house like an elderly with a hip fracture. I continued to be sore for weeks afterwards. Yes, in public I walked proud like my body wasn’t screaming in agony on the inside. A girl has to uphold her reputation. Oh, and I got a nice little stress fracture in my shin since my bones had not been conditioned for that constant rhythmic impact. I was the epitome of perfect health. A well-oiled machine. A fake.
Numerous times I heard “I would love to do something like that but where do you find the time?”. In those situations I’d always reply something along the lines of “you just have to make the time”, “it’s a real commitment”, “it’s easy to do when it’s something you want to do”. Pretty sure I had read those words of real runners in a magazine somewhere. My uber-athletic, unearthly, sainthood continued. Oh and the lies, yeah those didn’t stop either.
Although, despite the exaggeration of my abilities the one truth I always told was “I run because I like it”. Sometimes it was hard to find the motivation and most days I never found it but when I did I never regretted it.
As I laid on my couch the day after the race, unable to lift my legs without using my hands and eating ibuprofen like Tic-Tacs, I looked outside longingly and wanted nothing more than to go for a run. That’s when I knew I was hooked and I knew I wanted to do this whole “training” thing the right way.
I’m in training (look, no air quotes! this is the real deal) for my second marathon. This one’s July 10, 2011.
I’m not going to lie this time, after the first few weeks I lost motivation and went back to running just once or twice every couple of weeks. Somehow I’ve recently pulled myself out of that slump.
Along the way I’ve learned a lot about running (and running injuries). I’m by no means a seasoned pro or an expert in anything but, since we’re all being honest now, odds are that you probably aren’t either. Whatever your experience level, we all have knowledge and stories to share.
What motivates you to run? What are you goals? And, am I the only person that has lied like this?(hint: the correct answer is no)