October 21, 2012 by trailcats
Next weekend Holly and I are signed up for a marathon—the Ridge to Bridge in Brown Mountain Beach, North Carolina. This will be my 3rd marathon attempt, and it’s not looking pretty.
1st Failure: I was in my top shape about 10 years ago living in Littleton, Colorado. I was under-employed and spent my time trail running around Deer Creek Canyon Park and Mt. Falcon Park in the Denver foothills. I ran the flat 2.5 mile loops at Washington Park at around an 8-minute mile pace, and eventually built up to 15-mile runs 3-4 times a week. I circled my calendar for the Boulder Marathon, and with about a month before the race ran my longest ever—20 miles at Wash Park. The next 4 weeks I had debilitating knee tendonitis that flared after 2-3 miles into any run. So no marathon.
2nd Failure: A year and a half ago I set my sights on a trail marathon in Winder, GA. My fitness was up and down in the 9 years since living in Colorado. 5 mile runs felt long, and I was a little soft in my gut, so this was a goal marathon to help me get back into shape. 4 weeks into my training, I did a 9-mile run—then my limit. And then foot pain (ball of foot) knocked me off my schedule. The pain persisted for about a year, and so no marathon.
3rd Attempt is next week. Technically I’ve already run a marathon. A month ago we ran the Buncombe 55k—which turned out to be 35 miles, with the last 5 more of a walk/run into the finish as I developed right knee pain. Holly and I celebrated our first marathon together at the 27 mile marker. But here’s the dealio—that knee tendonitis has persisted all month and still flares up after about 3 miles. I’ve taken it fairly easy over the last month, so that leaves me still in pain and not in my best shape! Since I know I can do the distance, I’m inclined to start. Since it will be a pleasant day, I know I can crawl to the finish with fall colors in full effect. But I’ll still be looking for my first real marathon.