Saturday, October 31, 2009

Continually humbled by the marathon

The marathon is truly a humbling experience in so many ways.
First of all, the training is humbling. There are times throughout the months of training where it's hard to remember why you're doing it; getting up early, through colds, a cold, bad weather, bad times, etc.
Marathon day itself is humbling. A lot of obstacles come up on marathon day. Digestive issues, heat, cold, wind, hills (both up and down!), and the body's ability to handle being on the road for hours. But you push through it all in order to cross that finish line. There is so much joy at that point, a feeling which I'm trying to hold onto almost a week after Marine Corps.
Hand in hand with that joy is the other physical response; pain. It seems so obvious, but your body really takes a hit during the marathon. In the days that followed the marathon, I clung to the banister for dear life as I tried to go up and down the stairs; legs wide apart and groaning along the way. My face would contort stepping off the curb, for my quads were screaming at me at that point, although I'm sure the people around me could not understand why this seemingly simple action was so hard for me.
Of course, you can't just stop moving after you cross the finish line. A few days after the marathon, I climbed on the treadmill to walk. 30 minutes later, I had walked 1.75 miles at 17:08 pace - more than twice as slow as my marathon pace. But it still felt like work. Yesterday, I finally hit the road and ran 3 miles. 3 easy miles were not as difficult as I thought. It felt good to be running again. I went slow, which was good. The first mile was excellent. The second mile was uphill, which normally isn't that hard, but I could feel it today. And that's okay; I took it slow. The final mile was good - felt relieved that I got through it. Tried to do my normal 20 lunges. I did 2 and almost fell over, haha! So, not quite there yet. But today I did 4 miles, and 10 lunges, so making progress there. And that is humbling; to do a workout that is usually basic and effortless, and to have it take a lot more work.
The recovery is humbling. I normally spend hours on Saturday running. Today was less than 40 minutes, but that was all I was capable of. That's the humbling factor of the marathon.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Vanessa! I read your posts to keep me motivated to start training again. I posted the "Gauntlet" in my office and at home to keep as a constant reminder not to stay still.