Epic Comeback Marathon(s)
|November 29, 2011||Posted by Emily under Uncategorized|
The worst thing about breaking my foot has not been the weeks on crutches, or how well a boot pairs with my wardrobe of short skirts and dresses, or my decreased bagel consumption to compensate for the lack of exercise…no, by far, the most devastating part of this injury was losing the chance to try and run a 3:19 marathon this Fall. When I snapped the bone 5 weeks before I was supposed to toe the line in Philly, my world felt like it had ended. Not my running world, my world world.
Luckily, I managed to dig myself out from some pretty nasty depression and realize that the world had not actually ended, and I would have another chance to dominate that 3:20 mark in a 26.2 mile race. I immediately started researching comeback marathon options pretty much the day after I sustained the injury. And had I not broken it within minutes of that fateful Saturday’s end, I probably would have whipped out marathonguide.com on my smart phone as I limped around that very night.
While I was originally in a little bit of denial about when I could safely return to the marathon distance, I consulted my doctor and realized that as much as I thought December was totally doable for marathoning (kidding…kind of) it was actually just a fewwww weeks too soon. After doing his regularly scheduled talking me off a ledge during my appointment, he gave me the green light to plan on tackling a marathon at the end of April/beginning of May.
At the time, this seemed SO far away. But then I realized, I kind of adore marathon training and I was already a little upset that my training cycle for Philly had been cut down to 11 weeks due to my desire to spend a full month after my Ironman letting my ass bond with horizontal surfaces. I started to revel in the idea of devoting a full 16 weeks to getting my marathon training on, waking up every weekend for a long run, actually hitting all of my training workouts and speed sessions that I’ll need to achieve my goal, and spending four straight months living, eating and breathing marathon training. Suddenly, April/May did not seem so far away, it seemed perfect.
It doesn’t hurt that some of my favorite and most desired races happen to take place in the late Spring. So I did some research, consulted some good friends, and found myself registered for my official Comeback Marathon(s ). Yeah…that’s right, marathons. Since I haven’t actually started running yet, I don’t want to set myself up for total failure if I’m not ready in time for one marathon. So I registered for two, both of which are my Comeback Marathon in my mind, and if I have to drop down to the half, or listen to my body and take it easy…or whatever, I am prepared to do it. (But if all goes according to plan, there will be no half-ing or going easy-ing, it will be all epic comeback all the time.)
While I may have given the impression that I spent hours toiling over which marathon to register for, the decision was actually extremely easy.
As someone OBSESSED with Prefontaine, I’ve been eyeing the Eugene Marathon since I started racing. The fact that I repeat Pre’s mantras to myself before, during and after every race, made it an obvious setting for my Comeback Marathon of 2012.
Beyond being the turf of my beloved running idol, the race is rumored to be fast, full of awesomeness and it finishes at Hayward Field, the home of Pre’s legendary domination. I’ve already decorated my bedroom AND office with Prefontaine posters, watched Without Limits countless times, and memorized every Pre quote I can to prepare myself to tackle Eugene on April 29th. I’ve also received verbal commitments (or convinced myself of verbal commitments) from some of my very favorite running friends to join me for their own epic races (or recovery runs from Boston…forget Boston 2 Big Sur, Boston 2 Eugene is where it’s at).
This race has provided me with more epic running memories than I can recount in one blog post. I watched my mom overcome obesity to finish her first marathon at age 50 and inspire me to run my own, I broke 4 hours for the first time and started dreaming about doing an Ironman, I took 9 minutes off my half PR and then cheered my brother to his first 26.2 finish and I secretly ran the marathon during Ironman training (sorry, coach). VCM is not only beautiful, fast, full of the best spectators in marathoning and organized by champs, it holds a very special place in my heart and I’m thrilled I’ll be returning to the streets of Burlington for my Epic Comeback.
VCM is pretty much singlehandedly responsible for delaying my 50 state goal. Why race in North Dakota when I can run the best marathon ever in Vermont every single year? I mean, no offense to the Northernmost Dakota, but I’m pretty sure its marathon, scenery, cheese and local craft brews are no match for my beloved Green Mountain State and the marathon run through its biggest city.
The presence of my big little brother, the rest of my family and my favorite gays, former running partners and bffs will be a very nice added bonus.