Today I ran a marathon. On the treadmill. I started running at 5:50 A.M. and climbed off the treadmill three hours and 51 minutes later, drenched but happy.
Why 26.2? I'm not trained for it. In fact, I'm under trained due to being injured all season. So why?
Maybe because last night, as I was thinking about my run for the next day, I was feeling decidedly unmotivated. I needed a 20-miler which did not sound like fun. At all. I was mentally bargaining with myself for 18 miles, then 15, except I was pretty sure given my less-than-enthusiastic reaction to those numbers that I'd end up sand bagging and running somewhere around twelve--if I was lucky.
Then it occurred to me--I could run a marathon. The pressure would be off. Since I wasn't trained, wasn't mentally prepared and didn't have a time goal to meet, I could go as slow or fast as I desired. Running a marathon for no reason, with no goal, for the heck of it, simply to see if I could? That has my name written all over it.
I woke up excited. That feeling dissipated around mile 2.5 when I realized I still had almost 24 freaking miles to go. But I broke the run up into stretches and never really suffered. I thought I'd run 10 miles and take a break but I had my mojo by then, I so I ran until mile 16 and took a quick break to grab water and refuel. Then four more miles before I stopped the treadmill and reset it for the last 6.2. I walked a quarter mile stretch but other than that, ran the entire time, even sprinting in the last half mile.
It was actually easier to run a marathon than to run 15, 16 or 18 miles. It was something new, as I'd never made it over 20 miles on the treadmill before. Plus, my ego liked the idea of posting on Facebook that I ran a marathon by myself, just for the heck of it.
I also wanted to prove to myself that marathons aren't that big a deal. I have a 24-hour run coming up and I'm mentally preparing myself for the miles. I usually set a marathon up as something major that must be planned for and I need to allow two weeks recovery time and blah, blah, blah.
Nope. I ran this morning, showered, and now I'm going about my day. We'll see how I feel tomorrow but right now, I plan on my usual Sunday routine of Bodypump and yoga. Admittedly, running on a treadmill is easier on the joints than road racing, plus my pace was slower than I would run in a real race. But overall, I'm pretty stoked about the run. I felt good, I stayed strong mentally and I proved the point (to myself) that I can whip out some serious mileage and have the strength to quickly bounce back.
I won't be looking to run another treadmill marathon anytime soon but I'm happy to check it off the list. And proud of myself for powering through. One more running milestone that won't matter to anyone but me.
And I'm completely okay with that.