I am running my second marathon in a little over a week! I did my first one as a check off on my bucket list, and said I would never do another. In my opinion, a half is a doable race, but still a challenge, so why do another full. But then my friend Tara had her own check off list that included running a marathon to help raise money for Love without Boundaries. (see link at the bottom of page for information about donating to the cause!) And this had to be done in LA. So combining my love for running and my bigger love for traveling, I said YES!
Although I was always excited about visiting LA, I admit I wasn't always excited about training for another marathon. The way I train involves gradually increasing my once a week long run until my last long run is 22 miles. It takes a lot of time to run 22 miles during one day on the weekend. Running, taking children to baseball, and basketball and sleep overs and church...it makes for a tiring weekend. Two memories I have is the gradual tiredness my body feels and sitting in church on Sunday night (after a Sunday afternoon long run) with very tired legs.
But I also have noticed other things in training for a marathon. And these are things that I am very grateful for learning. One thing is almost like a mind change. Right now I am calling a short run one that is only 9 miles! And when I am running, if I only have 3-4 miles left, in my mind it is almost done.
I also have found that I can do more than I ever thought possible. I heard a quote from a sappy Hallmark movie that said, "Life is full of chances. If you don't take risks, you will never know what you are capable of." That is a good quote for a marathoner. When I trained for my first marathon, I remember barely being able to finish my long 7 mile run. But weeks later, I was doing 17. It is always that added mile that is the hardest; but if added one at a time, it can happen. Although I am always tired after running, it is a satisfied tired because of having met a goal. I enjoy meeting goals and also facing a challenge and conquering it. In this marathon training, I have been able to push myself and found that I haven't broken. To be able to do something that initially seemed impossible has taught me about myself and has shown me my strengths and weaknesses. I have learned a lot about myself by running circles around my house!
While running, I have lots of time to listen to books and music; think about what is happening in my life and what needs to be done with different situations; pray for these situations and pray that I don't die! I am able to notice all sorts of things in my running course from the new houses being built to the same litter in the same place week after week. I have started having a feeling about how long a mile is and being able to time it so that I hit water fountains when needed and finish very close to home.
Since this is not my first marathon, and I have no plans for finishing with some awesome time, I am more relaxed for this run. I still plan on running the whole thing, however, I also plan on enjoying the view and stopping to record the sites with my phone! I plan on making lots of Instagram and FB posts throughout my run! This will be a fun run!
So even though this training has been tiring, I still look forward to running and I still enjoy it. I REALLY enjoyed running a slow short 3 mile run with Camden and not even breathing hard! But even though I have enjoyed it, I will be glad to finish this journey and stick to shorter long runs :) I am really planning on this being my last marathon, however, if someone asks me to do 26.2 around the islands of Hawaii, I just might have to do a third!!