“…the marathon lifestyle promotes doing rather than watching…by adopting the marathon lifestyle you can confront your own lions, be your own hero, fight your own battles, challenge yourself.” – Richard Benyo
I saw this quote on the Vancouver Marathon’s Facebook wall and it reminded me why I want to a marathon. I have many fears in life, but my biggest fear is growing old and regretting that I didn’t do more with my life. I would rather make a mistake (within reason) than have a regret. I want to be an old lady who is content with her life decisions and knows that she took advantage of her opportunities, talents, and gifts. I want to be an active participant in my life, not just a complacent spectator.
This was my last hard week of training before entering the taper period. Dad and I learned that there is a reason the training plan spaces out the 20 mile runs; running three 20+ runs back-t0-back weekends was really hard on our legs. The half-marathon (which was a great experience and I’m glad we did it) messed up our training schedule, so our only options were to run three 20+ runs in a row, or only do two 20+ runs. Since dad and I both want to stick to the plan as much as possible, we opted for three 20+ runs.
Monday – REST
Tuesday – 6.2 miles (59)
I got some bad news on Tuesday as I was leaving work and was pretty pissed when I got home. I was cranky and didn’t want to talk to John or anyone about it. The pre-running Megan wouldn’t have had a constructive outlet to release my disappointment and frustration (I probably would have drowned my sorrows in a glass or two of wine). Thankfully, Tuesday was a running day, so I got to run it out. It was a painful, slow and hard run, but it helped me clear my mind and get over what had previously happened. By the time the run was over, my disappointment had subsided and I had a positive spin on the situation. Running calmed me down and helped me look at the big picture and realize that this opportunity wasn’t meant to be. And thanks to running, I was OK with that.
Wednesday – Spin class – 1 hour
Thursday – 8 miles (1:13)
Saturday: Rest/Ceann’s baby shower
Sunday: 21 miles (3:33)
I spent the night in Bellingham after my sister’s shower so my dad and I could do our last 20+ run together. We both were not very excited for this run, especially when he recounted the food we had eaten on Saturday. Hamburgers are delicious, but 1.5 cheeseburgers is hardly an ideal pre-run meal. Not to mention the chips, dip, guacamole, candy, etc., that I ate. But today was our day, so we set out.
Miles 2-4 were incredibly windy, which made the start of the run pretty challenging. By mile 4, I was sucking wind and felt awful, even worse than I did at mile 4 during last week’s long run. At this point, I was pretty confident that I was going to badly hit the wall. But we kept moving forward.
The wind subsided once we got off the water and on the trail. By mile 8/9, I settled into a groove and felt much better than I did at mile 4. The second wind is a wonderful thing and is exactly why I prefer longer runs to shorter runs. We stopped at mile 10 for treats (bananas, golden Oreo cookies and a sports drink). We continued down the trail until Larrabee State Park and then turned around and started heading back.
We kept chugging along, and I was exhausted. During the second half of the run, my legs felt better than they did during last week’s long run, but I was mentally tired. Dad maintained a constant four foot lead on me for the last few miles. I was incredibly thankful when we got to the end of the Interurban and started heading back into town – only three miles to go! Less than thirty minutes, I could do this. It’s funny when you think about all the things you can do in the amount of time that it takes to complete a 20+ mile run – watch an incredibly long movie like Titanic, drive from Seattle to Portland, read a book… All of these activities sound so much more fun than running 20+ miles!
We walked up one of our last hills and set a target for when we should start running again. We met that target (a pole or a tree), but we didn’t resume running. Walking just felt so great! I jokingly asked dad, Are we supposed to be running? And he responded with a resounding, Yeah!
We finished the run and I immediately had feelings of relief. Our last 20+ mile run was done and we now enter the glorious taper phase. Even though our legs were still fatigued from our last two long runs, we avoided the wall and didn’t have any meltdowns. We were tired, but we survived and met our goals. Now it’s time to cut our mileage and let our legs rest so we will be ready for May 1!!
Cross training: 1 hour (slacker – I had a busy week!)