Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spirit of the Marathon II

No major dissertating yesterday (Wed) -- I spent the day with an hour and half of hot yoga, a long walk with my friend Peggy (and a sunburn to prove it), a meeting on my campus, a quick dinner with Jim, and then showing up at the one night showing of Spirit of the Marathon II.  Here is the trailer for the film!

If you are a runner -- or have aspirations to be a runner -- you can't help but be emotionally affected by a documentary like this (the inspirational music helps, too, of course!).  As someone who has run 18 marathons (and who knows how many shorter races), I feel a surge of pride when I think about what my body has accomplished in the past.  Here is the conversation:  "You go girl!  You have done something super hard 18 times -- how cool is that?"  But my last two marathons were rough -- #17 was done while I was doing radiation and chemo in October 2010 (The Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco) and #18 was about a year later, the inaugural Rock-n-Roll Marathon here in Saint Louis (Oct 2011).  Neither was quick and both were painful.  I think after #18 I decided not to do marathons any longer -- my Plantar issues were making it hard as well.  But to be fair, those two races were hard for obvious reasons.  I only did #17 because I had won the lottery for the Nike Women's Marathon before I was diagnosed with cancer (and I HAD to do it because you get a necklace from Tiffany's and it is given to you by a near naked fireman!).  I managed to make it through that marathon with a time near 6 hours and then for some reason I didn't even train for #18, doing it only because this was the "new" marathon in town and I signed up for it at the last minute.  That was a slow one for me, too.

(Here I am finishing up at one of the old Lewis and Clark Half-Marathons or Marathons pre-2010)

So here it is almost two years after my last marathon.  I have thrown myself into triathlons -- which still scare me but I am loving the sport as a whole!  The one positive about triathlons is that I never did them before cancer so I can't compare the way that my body works now with the way that it used to be.  But ... I think I left something "undone" in terms of marathon goals.  Jim knows that my goal all along was to qualify for Boston.  I got close a few times (4:07 was my best) but I never made it.  According to the new standards (with the old time standards, I needed a 4:00), I would need to get a 3:55 time for women 45-49 (my age group obviously).  I think this is doable if I devote myself to training hard.  So I need to give this a lot of thought.  Is this something that I want to do?  A big part of me is screaming "Yes! Yes!" but I love triathloning now -- and I do have a dissertation that I will be finishing and defending in the next few months.  Maybe this is a post-dissertation goal, something to aim for next year.  If so, then I need to think about where to run in terms of attaining a qualifying goal.

Well, back to working on Chapter 5: Analysis.  Like what happens in a marathon when you get to about mile 22 (at least for me!), I need to push through the hard stuff and think about the finish line!

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