Since mid March I have been MIA, Missing in Action. Missing in running action to be precise. On May 26, 2013 I ran a full marathon: 42.2km or 26.2 miles. Anyone will know that you can't just go and run that type of distance. Unless you are some Greek guy who has to deliver a message but he died after so, yeah.
Thanks to the Saskatchewan Marathon webpage I was provided with a 10 week training schedule. It included the distance runs and speed runs you need to strengthen your leg and to build up your stamina so you won't die at the end.
Before I embarked on the mission I visited a local running store, Brainsports, and thanks to Harvey I was fitted with a new pair of shoes and some gear stuff as well as training gels. All prepared I set out to do my best to be prepared for those 42.2 km.
Here are some things I have learned:
Training gels are awesome.
The help you replenish your strength during the run so you won't collapse at the end. Yes, there is scientific word for that but this is the easy I didn't study this way of saying it. I have noticed the difference during my long runs and I am glad I use them.
The right shoes and outfit is important.
Well, I already knew this but it's more obvious to me now than it was before. It costs some good money to get running shoes and short, bra for the girls, and a shirt. But if there is irritation in any of those you will hate to run and it will be terrible.
Letting go is ok.
In my 5th week I ran myself a blister and in my 6th week I ran myself another, bigger, more painful blister. I also had some issues with my knee. Due to that I was not able to train for a full week, which is pretty awful when you only have 3 weeks to go until the marathon.
However, not running was better than struggling through the workout, not letting the injury heal. It would mean I am not fully healed when marathon day would come. Letting go of the "I should train" is the best I could do and it helped me physically and I guess a mental break wasn't bad either.
Getting help is important.
Since 2003 I had issues with my right knee, sometimes pain, sometimes a throb, sometimes nothing. I came back at the same times as the blister so I decided to go and get some physiotherapy. Craven Sports in Saskatoon are pretty awesome and the staff is great. My therapist Lee check out my issue, we spoke about my history, he looked at my movement and helped me to do better. I believe I will be with him for a while so that I may have little to no pain in my knee anymore. It will make my running experience that much better.
Enjoy the journey.
Above all those things is this: you should enjoy what you are doing. If you don't like running, don't do it. There is no point in pushing you through something you do not like.
I wasn't a runner before but over the past years I have discovered my love for it. Ok, it's not a love affair but I enjoy it enough to do it on a regular basis. I feel good after a run.
The goal was to finish the marathon. I admit that I have had a time in my head but foremost I wanted to finish it, without injury and the enjoyment of the race. The goal was achieved and I am happy with the result. Read more about the marathon experience in the next post.