15 December 2014

A little confession

I have gone and done something that I swore I wouldn't do ever again...entered a marathon.  For the past 3 years it had been a case of "been there, done that, got the t-shirt, don't want to do it ever again." The first time it was because I had to do one if I wanted to become an Iron Woman in the Arkansas RRCA Grand Prix series by completing all 20 races, the 2nd time it was because the Marine Corps Marathon was my bucket list race. I'm not a Marine, none of my family were Marines (that I am aware of) but I've always had this deep-seated awe of the Marine Corps since the day I completed my physical to enter the Army Reserves at 17 years old and there was a girl only slightly older than me processing at the same time for the Marines knocking out chin-ups like a boss. Yes, that made quite an impression!

Regardless, I ended up injured with both marathons and the training made me HATE running because it became something I had to do, not something I was doing because I enjoyed it.  Everybody has those moments but for the 2 months prior to both I despised and dreaded almost every single time I laced up my trainers and one consistent thing most everybody who has met me knows is that I LOVE running! I can survive without it but it would be like a huge chunk of my being was missing if I had to give it up for good.  Races are nice but they are not something I have to do to keep me motivated, I can quite happily slog along day in and day out, both by myself and with other people (it does get boring talking to yourself so running companions are very nice to have).  Music isn't even necessary, I can count on one hand the number of times I have ran with an MP3 player the past 3 years. I just love how running makes me feel strong and free.

So why the decision to enter another marathon now? A little bit of it is to see if I can manage to get through one without injury (wishful thinking?)...I'm in a much stronger place with my running than with the other two, both mentally and physically (thank you kettlebells!)--a lot of that has to do with my time of training with Ginny back in Arkansas even if it is over a year gone since then.  There's also the pesky little issue of being frustrated with my finishing times, I'm not ever going to be a Boston Qualifier but I would like to be closer to a four hour finishing time instead of almost 5 hours.  Oh and for some reason despite my previous experiences with longer distance running I've always fancied an ultra so thought it might be a good thing to get the marathon monkey off my back before attempting one of those.

Yes, that is a look of delirium as I approach the finish line of my first marathon

There you are, my confession to giving the 26.2 distance another go. I'm two months into proper training and so far so good, I'm not ready to take a flamethrower to my trainers yet...Dare I even say that I'm actually enjoying it this time around? We'll see what I have to say on February 28th at the start line for the Belvoir Challenge* but hopefully my mental LoveLock for running will hold strong!

*Belvoir in this case is not pronounced the French way...It somehow became "Beaver" over the centuries. No, I'm not kidding nor was this a joke on the American, there's even an explanation on Belvoir Castle's site about it. 


rog said...

Best of luck!

gabby said...

Thanks Rog, I'm gonna need all the luck I can get!

Tuvizo Gear said...

Running can truly make you feel strong and free. Break a leg! I'm pretty sure you'll do well. :)

gabby said...

Thank you Tuvizo Gear! I'm looking forward to this one :-)