So, I just ran a Half Marathon. Now what?

Me with my super cool medal.  My daughter thinks I won.  Don't tell her otherwise. (picture care of B. McAvoy)

Me with my super cool medal. My daughter thinks I won. Don’t tell her otherwise. (picture care of B. McAvoy)

Have you seen this video where Nick Wallenda crosses the Grand Canyon on a tight rope?  He is clearly not right in the head.  Or what about Felix Baumgartner’s fall from the sky?  Who are these people?  And whenever I see I person do something so crazy, I think to myself…now what are they going to do for the rest of their lives?  I mean really.  What would you do next?  Just become a couch potato, sit in a beanbag chair in your underwear, drink vodka, watch porn, and eat Cheetos? (Ron White)

So I ran the Half Marathon on Sunday.  Yep.  Checked it off my list.  But now what?  I hadn’t even been finished 10 minutes before “the professionals” started telling me that I have a marathon inside me waiting to come out.  I don’t know about that.  As they were saying this I was thinking….”My feet fucking hurt right now after 21K, how would they feel after 42.194988K?”  Yes that last .194988K is important.

I celebrated my achievement with beer, chicken wings, French fries and an ice cream sundae.  I had earned those delicious glasses of German golden elixir.  But my brain kept saying….now what?  “I’m gonna rest, damn it!”  Now what?  “GET BEHIND ME SATAN!”  I hope I didn’t yell that out in public.

As I relaxed that evening on the couch with ice on my feet, I reveled in all the positive props I was getting on Facebook.  Then I searched for it.  I couldn’t stop my hands from typing it: Frankfurt Marathon October 27, 2013.  Hmm.  No time requirement.  There is a start for those who have never run a marathon before.  Maybe….FORGET IT!  How can I possibly train for a marathon and pack my house and start a new job and put my daughter in the first grade and…and…and.

The professionals.  Marathon runners.  They run 100's of miles before most people get out bed in the morning.

The professionals. Marathon runners. They run 100’s of miles before most people get out bed in the morning.

Then today, one of my colleagues and running mates said…”What do you say…Berlin Marathon 2014?”  She held out her pinky to try to get me to commit.  I felt my right hand raise slightly to meet her’s, then I pulled my hand back quickly.  We both laughed, and to tell you the truth, I think she was a bit relieved.  No pinky pacts….yet.

So to answer the question: Now what?  I don’t know.  I think I would like to increase my speed.  Maybe I could do a few more half marathons.  I’m just not ready to commit the time and miles yet to what it would take to enjoy running a marathon.  The key word there is “enjoy”.  I think everyone does have a marathon in them, but it takes a lot of hard work and preparation to actually enjoy that marathon.

And to Felix Baumgartner and Nick Wallenda, I hope you are able to find something next, something that will calm that voice within you that says “Now what?”

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14 replies

  1. Kathleen – First and foremost congratulations!! As meeting the criteria you defined for a “professional” I guess I’d qualify as a professional. If your goal is to finish a marathon then it’s a completely doable goal even with everything going on in your life with just some slight adjustments to your current training, a commitment and support from your family, and 3-4 months of prep time if you keep on running. Frankfurt 2013 is completely doable. The sore feet go away in a couple days and the sooner you get out for a jog (keep it very short) the better to help your body flush that lactic acid out of your legs….our bodies are much more resilient than we know. I’d say go for it but as you know when it comes to this stuff I’m not quite right in the head…. 🙂

    • You Ironmen…always trying to push people to go pro. Thanks for your comments old friend. But if I do a marathon, then what next? A tri? Well that will never happen since I can’t even do a lap in a pool. 😉

      • I, too, could not make it from one end of the pool to the other until I took swim lessons just before my 31st birthday. Just sayin’. 😉

  2. Augezeichnet! Despite your misgivings, if you can do a half you can do a full. If you decide to do Berlin 2014, be sure to blog about it, if only to drive me insane with jealousy. The only cure for running is more running 🙂

  3. Congrats Kathleen! My first half marathon is when I decided to go for the full marathon. I used Jeff Galloway’s run/walk (still do). It took a lot of training and I was slow, but I finished. How about Frankfurt 2014?!?

  4. Congrats, Kathleen! I can’t speak for you but I know everything (pain, chafe, blisters, sleep deprivation, general psychosis) is worth it for the feeling of strength and accomplishment when I cross that finish line and reach my goal. Whether your “now what?” is a faster half-marathon or your first full marathon, it will be worth it. All of it.

  5. I remember really thinking a marathon was something I wanted to do once I cleared the half marathon distance, but have you seen those videos of people crapping their pants while running marathons??!! I know it sounds terrible, but that is the exact reason I took it off my list. I’m too vain to crap my pants.

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