As I've been writing about in my blog, the injuries since mid-February have really detracted from my training. In long runs that should have been 17 miles or more I was lucky to get in 7 miles. The longest long run leading up to this marathon was 2 weeks previous to the event and only 12 miles, I was supposed to do 20 that day. A majority of my runs came in at 3.5 to 4 miles. I was running in discomfort and doing my best to not cause more injury through taping and post run practices of icing and elevation.
Needless to say I was nervous for Toledo. I really wanted to run this and devised a mental strategy. I gave myself two thoughts to follow. The first was 'run conservative', be okay with really slow miles, keep your stride short, and don't worry about passing or being passed. Basically to just relax. The second mindset was to rethink how I've handled these things in the past when it comes to distance traveled and left to go. No to get to mile nine and ponder the distance that remains, but rather I would think and say out loud "Okay, just give me another mile. Just one more" at the beginning of each new mile marker. To be honest this worked wonders for me. I knew I severely lacked the training for this run, but I was able to come up with a way to survive and finish. I will be using this mindset in future marathons along with proper long runs.
Lastly the crowd, volunteers, and runners of Toledo are amazing and I can see why this marathon is celebrating its 42nd run. The course is beautiful and smart! Well thought out and full of variety. From straight runs through city streets, aging and well kept neighborhoods, and a gorgeous park, there was never a shortage of interesting sites and enthusiastic supporters. Thank you Toledo, you rock!
To all of those that ran, to all of those that cheered, to all of those that help make this happen. You are all my heroes. I hope to join your ranks someday.
I was browsing running shoes for my next purchase and I found these. They're Asics Nimbus Gel 20's, I'm using a pair now, but I had to have these. Once unboxed and inspected, I put them on for only a moment. I will be saving these for my Boston run, and they won't be worn until the training for that marathon. I have not yet earned the right to wear them, I have not yet qualified for Boston. This year the 122nd running will happen without me, but I'll be tuning in and those running, participating, cheering on the runners, and the law enforcement, they are all be my heroes. As they always are.
Did I want to be there by now? Of course, but I'm not and that just means my path winds its own way. When I do earn a spot, it will be throughly earned and savored. Until then I'm doing what I need to to, running and learning from what my body has to tell me. Focusing on my diet, the miles, and my emotional and mental health. Nothing easy is ever worth doing, I know that's a cliche and tossed around like so many kitten posters telling you to 'hang in there.' But easy is boring, and you learn nothing from the experience. I can remember the conversation I had with my outstanding friend Courtney after I completed my last marathon. I stated "I go out there looking for answers, and today I got a few." And in the end that's what we're all doing when we pursue a goal or something we love. And I'm still looking for more answers, some of which the questions haven't even been asked yet. I'm still on a mission.
As I closed out March and started April I could tell the healing process was nearly complete. Which is great! The challenge is I've lost a lot of training time as I head into my next marathon on 4/22. I'm thankful that the calf is healed and I have sometime left to get some long runs in, I can still do this. Maybe not to the level of performance I was hoping for, but I at least get in my first scheduled marathon for 2018.
I was also in Louisville for a work project and was able to get in a few runs there despite the long hours and snow storm. But I'll take any runs I can get and will be grateful. So yes, I will be in Toledo, and I will love the experience.
Ryan (That's me)
Runner, writer, and a survivor. It's all about living the life you want and helping each other along the way.