On October 14th, 2014, I signed up for the Maine Coast Marathon scheduled for May 10th, 2015.
Last time I did any sort of running was in middle school, 15 years ago. I thought by signing up, it would be a great reintroduction into running.
I immediately bought some running shoes online but eager to start my training, I remember going on my first run in my hiking shoes. Whether or not that was a good idea did not end up mattering because I only ran 2 miles until I could not run anymore.
You can clearly see when I said fuck it.
It’s funny though, less than a month later I could run 8 miles no problem. It’s amazing to me how resilient the human body is.
I had gone couch to 8 miles in about 20 days. They say don’t start out your training with too much running or you will injure yourself and that is exactly what happened. Shortly after this run, I started getting I want to say pretty intense pressure along the shin, not really pain, but it did bother me. I tried a lot of stuff like tightening my shoes, loosening my shoes, rolling my shins, and eventually the weird pressure pain thing went away.
October, November, and December all fly by. I ran 29, 33, and 39 miles respectively. Not sure if that was enough but that’s what I did. January 2015 comes around and Boston gets hit with record breaking snowfall. That combined with losing motivation and getting sick of running, I ran 18 miles in January and a measly 8 miles in February…
March rolls around and I can see May around the corner so I think some urgency and fear of shame kicked in, ended up running 42 miles in March and 86 in April.
My last big run was on April 19th where I ran 19.5 miles at a pace of 8:32. I took a good 2 weeks off after that because I had really bad outer knee pain which webmd calls runners knee. Makes sense. They call it an overuse injury and the only remedy is to rest it. I probably should have been more consistent in my training, and not have jumped the mileage so much in April.
I’m not going to blame the snow and the harsh winter, but I will say that if I were to do another one, I definitely won’t do a spring marathon. When the temperatures are in the teens, I had the toughest time fighting the mental battle of getting off my couch and out the door.
Anyways, big day gets here and I don’t want to spoil it for you but I will say it fucking sucks. I was warned countless times not to run too fast in the beginning but I don’t listen good. I ran my fastest half marathon during my marathon.
From mile 13-17 I started to realize that I’m slowing down and cannot maintain my pace. I could tell this because the 3:30 pace runners passed me, then the 3:45, then the 4, then the 4:15. It’s a really humbling and embarrassing feeling when the 60 year old you passed at mile 5, passes you back at mile 17. I think I walked for the first time on mile 18. That’s a tough mile because even though you don’t want to, you’re doing the math. You know you still have 8 miles left. You know exactly what that means because you’ve done countless 8 miles runs back in Boston. 8 is a huge number when you’ve been running for 3 hours already.
Mile 19-23 I just cried the entire time I think. Not like balling, just like a quiet little whimpering to myself. At this point everything hurts and you basically end the physical battle and start the mental battle. My brain constantly without pause kept saying “just stop, it’s ok, just stop running”. I wish I could say that I fought back and didn’t listen, but I did walk a little during this marathon.
Mile 24-26 is not so bad actually. 2 miles is nothin, be done in 16 minutes. More like 22 minutes but hey it’s finally over.
Final time was 4:23. I was shooting for 4:00 but there’s always next time!