I started out training for the half marathon. But later I thought I could train for a full. And I did for a little while. I got up to a long run of 14 miles – it took about three hours. But a bout with achilles tendonitis slowed me down. Then the development of a morton’s neuroma in my left foot left me without enough time to fully train the distance. So I dropped back to the half, which would have been easy enough since I had gotten up to a 14-mile long run. But the time I took off from the neuroma took some of my momentum with it.
As I ran I gained more confidence every time. I was amazed at how far I could make my body go. I was running on intervals of 5 minutes running and 2 minutes walking. It served me well.
My first race was a 5K on March 17, the Shamrock Shuffle. Despite the cold I ran it in a respectable 34 minutes and 56 seconds. I didn’t expect to be that fast.
In April I ran a 10-mile race in Black Earth. I couldn’t believe it when I crossed the finish line, very nearly the last one, in under two hours! I was faster than I thought I’d be.
The Lake Monona 20K the first weekend of May was my first significant run or race after having the neuroma. So that time wasn’t as good as my other times suggested. Two hours, 41 minutes and 40 seconds. That race I was the last finisher. And I ended up beating that time in the half marathon, a race three-quarters of a mile longer!
The Madison Quarter Marathon was my greatest race at that point in my training. I felt incredible the whole time and was amazed again at how fast I was. I felt so excited to go to San Diego the next week.
The culmination of my training was the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in San Diego June 1. It was so incredible to work so hard to reach that goal and finally be there. There pre-race pasta party was inspirational and all that was left was the race itself.
I remember being surprised by how hard that particular race was. I honestly didn’t have the emotion I thought I’d have at completing my goal race. Part of that was because of the disappointment I harbored at dropping to the half marathon, but part was also because of how the race was set up. The half marathon didn’t have an “official” finish line. It was for TNT participants only. We ran through the 13.1 timing mat and then off to the TNT area where we “ran” through a finish line to get our picture taken. That picture was the one I really wanted to buy and I never found it on the web site!
Don’t get me wrong. It was an amazing experience, one I will definitely never forget. And it got me hooked on running. It wasn’t long afterward that I decided I wanted to train for another half marathon. I was falling in love with running, but I need goals to motivate me. I wouldn’t last long just running without a destination. So I decided to train for the U.S. Cellular Marathon, part of the Fox Cities Marathon event.