I apologize to you, knees. After the years of tennis drills, pivoting and sprints I put you through, it just never ended. Your joints are growing weaker, but I pressed on. Icing you, heating you, bothering you. You creak and ache to be heard, I would silence you with two easy pills from the grocery store. I hope you’ll forgive me as our runs shorten and become less frequent. But till then, thank you for your hard work.
I have finally physically recovered from my half marathon on Sunday’s Dallas Marathon (formerly, White Rock Lake Marathon). Really this just means that I shouldn’t continue taking the elevator to my third floor apartment because I’m afraid my knees will give out. Excuses have expired, and it’s also time to start working out again.
My mother ran several marathons in her day and my brother just kind of winged the New York marathon without much preparation. So in the scheme of things, a half isn’t much. But I don’t care. It felt amazing.
If you are thinking about training, that’s awesome. It is so unbelievably rewarding. Crossing that finish line means more than anyone who has never run one before can imagine.
I used Marathonrookie.com to get me on track. One of the first steps the site suggests is determining why it is you want to do a half marathon. When I first asked myself, I honestly didn’t know why. I just knew I wanted to just do it. After completing it, however, it all seems so obvious. I signed up for the race while I was job hunting. Searching for a job is a complete beast. You don’t have any control on what happens. You can work hard, stand out, try to excel but at the end of the day, it’s out of your hands. Running a half marathon was completely in my hands. I could either train hard or not. I could either finish, or not. I could just do it, or not. It was something I had complete dictation in my life (well. Me and my shins, knees and hips).
What I loved most was overcoming those runs that seem impossible. The ones you dread to start, hate the first couple miles, and then all of a sudden you’re listening to a great indie song and the rest of the world and your legs melt away. We refer to this as The Zone. Each time you overcome the runs getting closer to the race, it makes you stronger. Everytime you set out to run, you’re running longer than you ever have before. You know that if you get through those shit runs, the next run could be an amazing one that feels like free therapy.
The things I definitely recommend are finding good equipment, determine your trails, and to assess if you want a running buddy.
For me, the tank tops, running leggings, shoes, arm band, and water bottle belt were among the best purchases I made this year. Each aided me to succeed. Most people say that it doesn’t matter what you wear when you run. Well, screw that. I am pretty sure that when I knew I looked like a serious runner, I felt like a serious runner. 13.1 miles? Bring it. The gear also helped me physically (water) and helped me focus on running and less on my shorts riding up.
As far as trails go, I loved running around White Rock Lake. It was such a good excuse to go to a beautiful part of Dallas. I’d always drive around a bit afterwards and find an excuse to stop at a coffee shop or a quick lunch. For my weekday runs I actually just used Google Maps to determine my path and distance. Minimum crosswalks and less cars are what you should look for. Personally, I chose not to have a running buddy and never regretted the decision. I was doing this for me, and not so much for a good time. I did meet a group of ladies on the DART on my way to the race that were all running together and were so excited, it was adorable. So if you’re looking for a more social aspect, there are several in the Dallas area to join.
All that to say. I ran. I finished. And I feel fantastic. Cheers.