Despite having not run a marathon in almost 4 years, not having a month with more than 50 running miles since 2012, and with a recent training base of only 65.9 miles, I went ahead and ran the Mississippi Blues Marathon a few weeks ago, on my 45th birthday!
While there were a lot of reasons NOT to do this race, there were also a lot of reasons TO run:
- I had been planning to run this race for 5 years, since I ran First Light Marathon on my 40th birthday
- I am finally feeling injury free
- I had been seeing a personal trainer for the prior 10+ weeks, working hard and providing me a good muscular base
- I had signed up months in advance (before my latest injury over the summer) and paid for the race
- An excuse to go away for a few days with my wife and to take a long road trip, both things I love
- The desire to move the needle forward on running marathons in all 50 states, having been stuck at 11 states for last 4 years
- Was able to get 2 relatively long runs in, 10 and 14.5 miles
- Mentally I was fully prepared for this to be a run/walk effort
Run the race I did! And while it was a bit ugly, I got it done. As you can see from the snip above I was pretty consistent through 15 miles, and then the wheels fell off. A lot of walking was involved last 10 miles, which coincided with a long downpour from mother nature, but I enjoyed the back-of-the-pack experience, bonding with fellow run/walkers, and was able to get enough together to mostly run the last mile. The difficulty required to finish the race gave me a new found respect for the distance. The best news of all was that I didn’t re-injure anything or hurt myself in any way. Walking was tough night of the race and the next day, but within a couple of days, all the soreness was gone, and I resumed running within a week. With a new baseline of 6:05, I realize I have a LOT of training to do to get myself back down to 4:30, and I’m eagerly looking forward to the challenge.
By the way, best marathon finisher medal EVER!