Marathon Series Part 1: Introduction

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Welcome the blog and video series of my marathon training! I want to preface that this series will not be a detailed training plan, but a combination of reflection, describe shared principles in rehab and running, and a showcase of the clinician talent at CPR.

To help build context, I will use this first blog to give some of my running background. I started running on my high school cross country team my junior year. The amount of joy and peace I felt with with simply running made it become a lifestyle habit. After running 5Ks in high school, I made the leap to run my first marathon during my first semester of college. Professionally, I don’t recommend jumping from running 3 miles to 26 miles in two-months time, but that is what happened (training tip: don’t do this!). Miraculously, I didn’t injure myself. That first marathon was on a trail in the wooded hills of southern Indiana, and I experienced everything from the runner’s high to the leg-numbing “wall” at mile 21. The most significant experience, however, happened while crawling up the steps of a cabin for the post-run food. In that moment of pain and fatigue, I realized I loved every minute of every mile. I was hooked.

Over the next 12 months, I ran two more marathons, this time on road, and became more experienced. I qualified for the 2009 Boston marathon. To me, this was the king of road races. I preferred running trails, and if I were able to run Boston, I would be content to never race on the road again. But two months before the race, I hyper-extended my knee and had to cancel my registration. I spent many months trying to get back to running long distances with limited success due to stubborn, nagging pains. In time, I became content with being able to run short miles, and set aside the aspirations to run Boston. Once I replaced this competitive ambition with gratitude for the ability to run at all, I approached the sport differently, and found myself building up my mileage slowly. Very slowly—two minute increments at a time each week. Over several months, I found myself able to run longer mileage again, and was able to participate in half marathons distances. Running Boston still remained a back-burner, “when-I-have-time” dream though.

That is, until I started talking about running with Victoria Grey, the most recent addition to our therapist team. I mentioned I had qualified for Boston once, and she quickly stated, “You need to run Boston.” She said it like it was a fact of life. She had run it a few years ago in the freezing rain, and was still able to describe it as a highlight of her running experiences. The conviction in her voice turned a switch in me. Why not train for a marathon again? Why not aim for Boston? I realized I had no solid reason to hold me back from trying.

So here I am, with the goal of running the Bayshore Marathon in May 2022 and qualifying for the 2023 Boston Marathon. There is a lot of uncertainty in the success of this endeavor, between injury-risk and pandemic, but I believe this upcoming journey will be more fulfilling than the outcome of running Boston; Boston will be the icing on the cake. I believe the person I become, and the things I will experience in the journey to get there, will be the real reward.

I invite you to follow along on this marathon series. I hope it presents a few nuggets of information you can take away. For a little more concrete training tips beyond this introductory blog, check out Allison Whitteberry’s blog about running her virtual marathon and the strategies she used to train for it solo here. Happy trails!

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