I promised you guys in the beginning that i would be very real with my progress and emotions and everything. And i think over the last three months i've limited that to how i feel about my pain. so i'll try to go a little deeper tonight and tell you guys how i'm really feeling inside about all this.
I didn't run all last week after the half marathon. i was so sore and my knees hurt, everything below my hips hurt - plus i started getting sick. i even stayed home from work Thursday. So i was fairly aprehensive about running for three hours yesterday (saturday). By thursday night i was really in a funk. i was wondering if i could do this; fearful that i couldn't; fearful of what you all would think if i couldn't. i was down. i want to be able to run it faster. but the bottom line is that i was questioning whether i could even make it the full 26 miles. as bad as i felt physically, i coudn't imagine running another 13 miles. As fast as i ran the half a week ago... to me was nothing because i 'hit the wall' at 12 miles. my legs were so full of lactic acid; i was dead physically. and that was only HALF way through a full marathon.
After talking with a friend and my professor i had new hope; at least a little; that i could do this. the bottom line is that i have to make this "MY" marathon. i've got to run it in a way that will get ME across the finish line. if that means going back to 12 minute miles and walking after every mile... so be it. see, i made the mistake of setting a "time" goal for the marathon. granted, that is good to set such goals, but i'm the kind of guy who focuses on my failures and not my successes. like the half marathon last week. i should be ecstatic that i beat my last half marathon time by 20 mintues - that is amazing - but no, i'm focused on that last mile and a half that i 'lost it'. all week i focused on how miserable i felt physically, how i've beaten myself up mentally and talked myself out of thinking i could do this. my second goal after "finishing" the marathon was to do it in 5 hours.... well, a 12 minute mile isn't going to cut it. so now i've got to try and be happy with just finishing. "just" funishing. there i go again. less than 1% of the population has ran a marathon - and i won't be satisified with finishing cause it wasn't as fast as i'd like. aren't i pathetic.
Well, let's get on to yesterday's run. i was aprehensive cause i hadn't run all week, as i said before. I had decided to run at the back of the pack.. with the "slow" ones. we maintained a 11 1/2 minute per mile pace. we were able to run 2 miles out in 23 minutes. then we turned around and ran back which totals four miles. we did this in all four directions (N-E-W-S). So even at a "slower" pace, i still ran 16 miles yesterday. After 12 miles i was still feeling pretty good - but getting tired. but considering after 12 miles the week before i could have collapsed on the ground... i was doing much better this time around. the last mile though... mile 16... i was tired. my legs were filling with lactic acid again. i wanted to stop running. then, with only 400 yards to go i decided i was going to stop and walk the rest. luckily my running partner had different ideas. as i started walking she said, no! you can do this! we're almost there!..... darn her!!!!!! so i began to run again, and i ran the rest of the way back. i was exhausted. i felt pretty close to how i felt last week. instead of praising myself for running another 16 miles... i thought of my physical misery. and again thinking.... i've got to run another TEN miles to complete marathon. again i began to contemplate how i was possibly going to make it... surely i can't do this. my body is just not made for this....
i went home and took an ice bath - a real ice bath this time. but then i did something different. i stayed on my feet the rest of the day. i didn't crash on the bed like usual. i was up and working around the house. i still had the usual "after run" knee pain... but yesterday it wasn't as bad! i could actually walk without limping! although it was in slow motion. i woke up this morning and my knees weren't screaming. i could walk down the stairs without support my weight on the railing and wall. tonight... my knees don't even hurt at all! all i am feeling is sorenees in my thighs and hamstrings. belive me, it hurts.... but it's like a "7" compared to a usual "15" (on a scale of 1 - 10).
so tonight i sit here and i can't recall the pain i felt yesterday morning. in the back of my head i still am apprehensive that the marathon is ONLY three weeks away, and i've barely run 3/5 of it. and in 7 days i'm gonna run TWENTY miles. but as miserable as i'm feeling on these long runs.. everyone says, if you can do 20, you can do 26.2! so all i've got to do is make it 20 miles next saturday.
so anyway, i am amazed at how well i feel compared to the usual after run recovery. i have hope that i can push through those 20 miles next week. by i'm still not confident. i guess more than ever (and even more in three weeks) i need prayer. prayer for staying healthy (i'm currently sursing a cold that is turning into bronchitis) and prayer for strength to see it through. thanks guys!!!