I’m back at home visiting family and friends this weekend. This morning, I went for a run with one of my running idols, H. Over the last two years or so, H has transformed from normal post-college lazy human being to world-conquering running superhero. She ran her first marathon a few months ago, and she is the person I go to to ask questions/whine about running.
H lives in another part of the country, so it was great to be able to meet up with her for a run while we were both home. Right now she is recovering from her marathon and working on her running form. She had a ‘form analysis’ done by a physical therapist, and she is working on correcting some things- namely her posture and her stride. She runs with a metronome-like app- it ticks out a beat which she is supposed to match her steps to.
We did run/walk intervals, which I have never tried before. Basically we ran for a minute then walked for 30 seconds, for 6.5 miles. While it was nice to take regular breaks, I got a little hangry towards the end. Basically whenever we stopped to walk I wanted a hot dog. Actually the whole time I just wanted a hot dog.
Our run took us through town, and we ran by our old high school. We decided to take a lap around the track for old times sake. H and I both ran track throughout high-school. We were sprinters- H specialized in hurdles, while I ran the 100/200/4×100 short sprints. As we were doing our lap, and watching the high-schoolers practice, we remembered the great divide between the sprinters and the “long distance” runners on our team.
At the time, despite the fact that we were running 20+ sprint reps during workouts 6 days a week, we saw ourselves strictly as short distance runners. Sometimes we would do a 1-mile warmup with the whole team, and we thought that distance was SOOO LONG. If you had asked High School Me to run two miles, I would have whined like crazy. I didn’t think I was capable of running distance, and I was not interested in trying.
I kept this mindset throughout my college years and beyond. When I first started running regularly about three years ago, I was majorly intimidated by the prospect of running multiple miles. I remember being so amazed the first time I ran THREE WHOLE MILES! It was a revelation that I had that kind of distance in me, even when I was relatively out of shape.
I guess I’m kind of trying to tell you where I’ve come from, and why running a marathon is such a stretch for me. It’s something I spent most of my life believing was for super-elite long distance runners, a category which I would never have put myself in. 26.2 miles still sounds daunting to me – every time I say it I just think “THAT IS TWICE AS FAR AS I HAVE EVER RUN”.
This story has a happy ending. After our 6.5 mile run/walk, I dropped H off at the hotel she was staying at, and decided to step in to take a peek at the breakfast situation. Long story short: I ate half of the food on the buffet. I don’t mean I tried half of the things, I mean I ate half of the total quantity. There were even hotdog-like sausages. It was amazing.