As the saying goes…”Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them makes life meaningful.” (Joshua Marine). By this definition it was truly an interesting week as I strove to also make it meaningful.
To recap, the Marathon Challenge was to run/jog 26.2 miles over 4 days in under 5 hours total time. My strategy was to run a longer run on the first day, a shorter run on day two, give the old bones a rest on day 3 and then run the remaining miles on day four.
Day one the weather is chilly but clear, a good day for a long run. The target is to go at least 10 miles but not to wear the legs down knowing I have to get up the next day and run again. While in the past that might not have been such a big deal, the legs these days have a mind of their own and demand more recovery time. At some point it’s not unusual for them to just declare “enough” and cramp up. When the legs lock up it’s like watching the tin man trying to run after a rain storm. The first few miles were OK but as the miles went by the legs got stiffer making the last few miles a tough slog.
Day two dawns chilly and over cast but the rain is holding off. On a typical day it takes me a couple of miles till the legs warm up and I don’t feel like the joints are filled with cement and someone has shrunk my lungs. Today I’m stiffer than normal and a bit sore from the day before. One of the challenges of the area where I live is that it is very hilly. When the legs are stiff and tired hills are a literally a real pain. While the uphills are challenging for the lungs and quads, the pounding on the downhills are can be like someone driving a nail into your thighs. The strategy for the day, go extra slow and keep the hills to a minimum. It worked.
Day three is only significant in that I had to go in for a colonoscopy. Just what you want on your rest day. The good news, everything is fine and I slept really well during the procedure.
Day four dawns windy and with occasional sprinkles. Feeling better after a day of rest and while stiff starting out, I gradually loosen up. At the end I was tired but able to push through the last few miles at a slow but steady pace. Mentally it’s so much easier to keep going when you can see the finish line.
So, 4 days, 26.2 miles and total time around 4 ½ hours. It’s not going to set any record books on fire but definitely a step up from where I was last year (7 days and 5 ½ hours) and two years ago when I wasn’t able to run more than 100 yards. It will be interesting to see where we are this time next year. Doctors say it is unlikely I will regain what I had before the chemo/transplant but I don’t think we have found my limit just yet.
Thanks for all the support, words of encouragement and donations to Help in the Nick of Time. I don’t have the words to tell you how much it means to me. Your support feeds my motivation to keep going, keeps good memories of Nick alive, and it truly has a huge impact on all the cancer lives we are able to touch with our programs.
Stay well and safe!