Falling in love with marathons is something I never expected to take over my life. My first affair with them was painful and abusive, and I was positive that our next run would end in similar tragedy. Yet, I gave the marathon one more chance to win my heart – and it did, with grace and gusto.
I’ll be totally honest: my first marathon was a painful, long, torturous disaster – or at least parts of it were. Running marathons is an endless cycle because you get super excited about running and training and can’t stop yourself from shouting it from the rooftops and bringing it up at every possible social event, because it is so. exciting. Next, you’re at the start line and pumped up by all the other runners. Then, you breeze through the first 12-18 miles and feel like a strong, sexy badass that could run a thousand marathons.
Finally, the tough part starts to kick in. Your muscles go from a dull, manageable ache to a sharp pain. You start to feel some serious burn on that muscle you strained a few months ago, or even that toe/ankle you broke a few years ago. And then, somewhere around mile 22-24, your bones begin to hurt and collapsing from some injury/death sounds promising and peaceful. Then you’re near the finish line, and there’s tons of strangers cheering you on and you can’t believe you made it this freakin’ far and you get pumped up by adrenaline and cross that damn finish line.
Finally, you get your t-shirt and medal you ran all those miles for and feel like such a rockstar you rush home to sign up for yet another marathon.
This, my friends, is how it happens – at least at the first affair.
My second marathon was much different. I was nursing a sprained ankle and had just come off crutches. I probably shouldn’t have ran at all, but even the cries of friends, family and future consequence couldn’t keep us apart.
I toed the start line with high hope and found that the marathon loved me, too. I breezed through the first half without even walking. I found an easy, natural rhythm and skated by the next ten miles, stopping when the pain was causing me to limp and resuming my pace when it subsided. I’m pretty old-fashioned, so I left the painkillers and motrin at home. I remember being shocked as I crossed mile 22, and even more surprised as I eased down the hill at mile 24 and cruised through the finish line with only a slight limp and even less pain.
Now, marathons and I have quite a torrid love affair going on. I feel strong, sexy, happy, and healthy every single day. I look forward to continuing our romance with two half-marathons in the next six months and another Honolulu marathon at the end of the new year. I find myself eating healthier, sleeping better, and making wiser choices without much effort or thought.
It’s well worth the incessant hunger, constant eating, chafing, cramps, sprains, strains, pains, and struggle. Because I love running marathons – and marathons (for now) seem to love me, too.
Here’s a few running memes to make you laugh & relate 🙂 Happy running!