Let me bring you up to speed. On January 12th, I ran my last long run of 16 miles. I ran from Ripon to a friend’s house in Modesto. I was on pace, and I was halfway through my LA Marathon training schedule, and the next week my feet fell apart. I ran a couple more runs, and then called it off. Pulled the plug. I went to the Ortho Doc, and followed his direction-that I shouldn’t run a marathon and only smallish miles. Over the next month or so, I went to the gym, did the elliptical, etc. I had the MRI, and they got the results. I have an appointment on March 17th to see them.
I purposely chose that date, because I’m pacing a runner for a 5K in Fresno on the 16th, and I have 2 other runners working on their goals that day. I didn’t want any results before the 16th. At that point, I thought the LA Marathon was off the table.
Then yesterday happened. I paced a runner for her first 10K in Sanger. After all the pre-race hoopla, we were several blocks from the race start, and the race …started. Instead of jumping into the race, we needed to get back to the start line, so this made us the last people on the course. The whole time, the police car stayed right behind us. It was like having our own personal escort. In some ways, it was lovely, because there was no pressure on her. After mile 1, I asked her if she would rather have negative splits or have the race time we initially had discussed. She wanted the elusive negative splits.
And so we ran along under the watchful eye of the road up to Kings Canyon National Park…a place I lived for a few years with my first husband. It was just easy and fun. I told her that I wouldn’t write her report for her, but somewhere along the way, with no pain and just having fun running, my LA Marathon dream woke up, and I didn’t even realize it. We did not finish DFL. We passed one lady at mile 5. Pride was on the line, after all. She got her negative splits, and really nailed a nice race. I earned third place for my age group. I got a plaque. After the requisite huevos rancheros and back to pick up some ladies for another AA event in Visalia, I drove home to Ripon. It was a really long day.
When I got up this morning, as I was waiting for the coffee to brew, I uploaded the data and saw that she broke 13:00, and ran the race at 12:59. Which means that I ran the race at 12:59. I put in my pace calculator what a marathon pace is for 6 hours, my normal pace in all 5 marathons. It is 13:44. And I sort of started to focus.
Maybe I could do it. Maybe I could run the marathon.
I’m woefully unprepared. But I don’t care. I started to wrestle this in my brain. Am I insane? And yes. The answer is yes.
- It’s my sixth and maybe my last marathon
- I can run it for fun
- I bought 3 bibs last year that went unused due to poor planning. This would be my 4th in a year. Waste of money.
- I feel good. Really good.
- I have new prescription shoes from my Orthopedist, who happens to run lunchtime 12 milers for fun while training for BadWater.
- I don’t have to have any goal. Not even to finish. I can jump off if I’m hurt.
I messaged Ron, who, early in my training had agreed to send me a schedule, and to whom I had sent all my workouts. He’s a great athlete and friend, and an all around excellent advocate for our sport. You may remember that he gave me the plan of his own free will, simply because he’s a good guy. Super supportive, and someone I trust implicitly. He’s one of the nicest people you’ll meet, and I’m lucky to have him in my corner. Even if he’s a Giants fan.
So, I spent all day lining up my week. Printing out my marathon checklist. Letting my parents know I’ll be there. Arranging with my brother in law and Dad how to get to Dodger Stadium. Focusing my energy on this race. This run.
It’s only 26.2. A decision has been made.
Please don’t tell me I’m crazy. I know this. Please don’t tell me I can’t do it. I know this too. But, in the world of running…we sometimes just have to say to hell with it and go. And that’s just what I’m doing.