Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My First Marathon

Saturday 12Sep09. A relatively easy day with 2.5 hours in a helicopter, two hours of weightlifting at the gym, and 8 hours in the office. The plan after work was to run 16 miles at a sub nine-minute pace due to the relative coolness of 93 degrees. Previous farthest run was 15 miles.

At 2116 (9:16pm) we began our run, and found exceptionally ideal conditions. We ran a 5-mile loop, a 7-mile loop, and another 5-mile loop. Finishing these at a 8:57 pace, my friend and I were quite happy. Displaying a slightly confused perspective of distance, I said, "Let's just keep running, we're almost at a marathon." My friend disagreed and went back to his CHU to sleep, but I decided it would be worth it to keep going.

I ran another 3.5-mile loop, which covered 1/3 of the remaining distance, and realized just how far there was yet to run. However, since I had told my friend that I was going to run a marathon, I knew I had to finish it.

Becoming more mentally impaired and hitting a wall at around 21 miles, I slowed down considerably and began taking breaks every mile or so for a minute or two. My stomach was churning in pain after I would run for about a mile and forced me to stop for a bit for it to recover. I was now only running a half-mile loop around our living area over and over to make sure that if I did trip or pass out, I wouldn't be too far from home or from people. Without anyone else around, I resorted to praying and talking to myself to pass the time.

Finishing at 0219 (now 91 degrees out), with 4:32 of run-time and 31 minutes of total stop-time, I cheered for myself and then walked over to a colleague's CHU to drop off my Garmin for him to use the next morning. Feeling pretty fine, I went home, told my roommate who was still up watching movies, and then walked to the shower trailer and got ready for bed (noticing in the shower I was still talking to myself, I think that I need to eat more during the next time I run something like that).

Asleep by 0300, I slept in until 1300 for the first time on the deployment. On waking up, I felt fine and went into work. That evening Tom and I ran a 5k in 26:15 (8:13 pace) and are now training to run a marathon in the future a little faster. I figure if I am lucky enough to be in the shape I am without injuries right now, I have to take advantage of it and try as hard as I can to capitalize on the opportunity.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." -Colossians 3:23