Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Big Question

The question of the summer and fall was, could a person of moderate fitness run two marathons in 14 days?

The answer? A surprising yes. 

I wasn't sure, back in the spring, if I would be able to pull it off. So much can happen in training, and they're all things that have happened before - injury, head cold, heat.

The million dollar question was, could a person train for one marathon but, in essence, then run a second, "bonus" marathon? 

Why yes, you can. 

Following the finish at Chicago, I stepped onto unfamiliar ground. Instead of the finish line marking the end of my training, it was instead a highlight in the journey. 

Post Chicago was much like any marathon I've run. I was sore and stiff. After a number of days, I went to yoga to stretch out. All in all I felt good, but like I was carrying lead in my shoes. That Saturday, I went on a 6 mile run. Again, I felt a lot like I knew post marathon week to be. 

Yet I had another marathon on the horizon. 

I was semi-following Hal Higdon's plan of "training in between marathons" but more that that, I was practicing the art of not freaking out. What will be will be. 

Until Jen and I started to set our clothes out the night before, it didn't seem real anyway. I'd never run a marathon outside of Chicago. I was on vacation as far as I knew. 

As morning came, reality came quickly as we grabbed our gear and shuffled to the metro. This was it. Race day two. 

A year ago, this race was just an idea. One that I thought fitting I run. Now I had four friends joining in the experience. 

I had thoughts of uncertainty along with some nervousness, but overall I knew one thing - I would finish. Hopefully, I would finish strong. I would do this because it's what needed to be done. Today wasn't about what I did two weeks ago, it was about the cause today. I would be reminded of that with each mile. 

And so, the four of us stood on an unassuming highway in DC. We heard a perfect rendition do the Star-Spangled Banner as paratroopers jumped out of an airplane with flags strapped to them. We were about to start on one of the most patriotic journeys do our lives. And in that moment, I knew I was ready.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Reardon

1 comment:

Pete B said...

Two marathons in two weeks, wow! I only run two a year so that's very impressive!