Marathon: Check

I don't know how he did it or why I said yes, but at some point early in the year Reuben convinced me to do a marathon. One very wet and cold and dark winter was our season for training, making for some very challenging training runs. I learned many things about myself from this training. First: GoreTex has a saturation point. Second: I love Jeff Gallaway. He created a training plan where with every mile you run (on long runs) you walk one minute. I LIVED for those minutes, especially after 15 or 20 miles. Three: Another love: French Toast. Our favorite post-run meal. mmmmmm. Four: Marathon training isn't as difficult as I thought it would be....at least after running a few half-marathons. If you can train up to 13 miles, you can certainly train up to 20. And if you can run twenty, you can run 26.2. It's all about endurance, anyway. Fifth: Beware of Aleve. I actually didn't learn this until after. Due to knee pains, I always pop two Aleve before a long run. Over the course of the marathon, I took a total of 4. I read a few days ago that too much Aleve while running can cause kidney failure.

The marathon we chose was the Yakima River Canyon Marathon, on April 3rd at 8am. To make a long story short, I did it! I finished. Miles 15-20 were a drag. Not close enough to the finish to start counting down, but far enough that it already hurt. And boy did it hurt! But a marathon ain't all rainbows and puppies. It's supposed to hurt! At least for first-timers, like me. I didn't have any sort of goal for finishing, but we made it across the finish line in 4 hours and 41 minutes. Not bad!

My preferred post-race snack was pretzel sticks. SALT. Yum. I scarfed them down. Plus a few Fig Newtons.

People say that marathon running, like tattoos, are addicting. I say, not so. I accomplished what I set out to: I finished. I don't have anything to prove. I don't feel the need to run another one for a VERY long time. I've spent so much of my time RUNNING at the expense of so many other things I wanted to do: like biking and hiking. Almost every saturday was spent running for HOURS, and we missed out on a lot of other activities. When I wasn't doing my long run, I was laying on the couch like a lazy bum. And because I didn't do any cross-training or weights to supplement my training, I don't feel that all this marathon training made me any stronger. I know I can run killer hills, but probably can't do a chin-up. I gained weight (apparently a common occurrence for first time runners).

Needless to say, I'm ready to get on with my life. Since the marathon is over, I've been on the track doing a little bit of speed-work, reminiscent of good old high school track days. Nowadays, I want to do things that I LOVE, not just all running, all the time. If only this spring would cooperate!

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© Reuben + ErinMaira Gall