Friday, December 14, 2012

The time I wasn't ready for 13.1

This summer I thought I'd give it another shot to get a marathon under my belt. I started training with a local running store and all was well until the week after Labor Day. I had a long run (15 miles) on Saturday, my first Sprint Tri on Monday, and after 10 minutes of running the following Thursday my calf started cramping something awful. It felt like a rock had been inserted into my leg, but like most runners, I decided to ignore it and wait for it to loosen up. I ignored for a few more days, but when I was still limping 5 days later, I headed to a sports medicine chiropractor to check it out. Turns out it was a tear...not a complete tear, just a moderate one. And turns out it took me about 6 weeks to recover and even be able to run 3 miles without stopping. So the marathon training was over. I'd have to rebuild and consider trying again for next Spring. Then over dinner one night, my friends were talking about the Dallas Marathon (the one I was training for), and how several of them signed up with Team Volkswagen which included a free registration and some swag. The next week I found out VW had a few more spots, so I became #150 of 150 runners on the team. I figured if I'm not ready to run 26.2 miles, but I could work my way slowly through 13.1 why not give it a shot? So I ran it. Well, almost ran it. I had to stop and walk off and on once I hit the 4 mile mark thanks to a shooting pain that crept in - one more issue courtesy of the calf tear. I knew from the beginning this would be an easy, laid-back run, and I would just enjoy myself since I had no idea how well I could run this thing. I saw a few friends, ran over and gave them hugs, enjoyed seeing parts of Dallas I'd never seen up close, and soaked the experience in. Oh, and, most importantly, I got a medal:
When I started running a few years ago, I read something that I remind myself of often, especially this past Sunday - "Nobody cares whether you run, they're more concerned that you finish."

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