I Finally Ran a Marathon
I did it. I actually did it. Even almost a month later it sometimes dawns on me how amazing it is that I was able to run a full marathon (26.2 miles).
In March 2010, I tried to run a 5k and failed miserably not even really able to run a mile. I finished the 5k, mostly by walking and probably annoying those running it, but it wasn't one of my proudest moments. That was actually what sparked my decision to get myself in better shape. I started going for walks, and in June to July 2010 after I moved to Plymouth Meeting, I started going for 2-3 mile runs. Granted most of these runs included plenty of walking breaks, I was starting out well and was on my way. Slowly these runs had less and less walking breaks and my average pace started to creep down to the 12 minute mile range. In late July, I joined LA Fitness with my buddy LJ and started working on my strength training as well. I didn't really know what I was doing with regards to strength training, but I also didn't really have much in terms of muscle, so I had to start somewhere. Well I continued to run both at the gym and around my apartment and in March 2011, 1 year later, I ran the same 5k in 34:03.
Fast forward to 2013, I had just hurt my shoulder playing Baseball, so really, the only thing I could really do was run. Lifting weights was notably limited as my right arm was causing me pain. I went through physical therapy to fix the shoulder, but in the meantime I started running more. After successfully running almost 11 miles one Saturday, I decided to sign up for the Philadelphia Half Marathon in November 2013 and successfully ran that in 2:15:38.
Not to be outdone, in 2014 I signed up for the Philadelphia Full Marathon in November 2014. In the meantime, I ended up running Broad Street (10 miles), and 2 half marathons during the spring and summer. Unfortunately, my left knee started giving me problems and I was unable to run the marathon in November. I went through physical therapy, got exercises to help prepare me for another try and in April 2015, I signed up to run the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon.
My training started at the end of July, right after vacation, and right as my wife and I decided to buy a house. The next month was hectic with me running 4 days a week and working on the house. Training was going well until the end of September, beginning of October. I had hit a new record high of 16 miles, but started to feel pain in my right foot. I tried again a week later, and sure enough the pain was still there. I thought it was a stress fracture, but it turned out to just be inflammation thankfully (sorta). It unfortunately kept me from running for 2 weeks right in the middle of the longest runs of my training. I went to the gym and spent time on the elliptical and stationary bike in an attempt to try to keep myself active and my cardiovascular system active. Late October, early November I started running again and was able to hit 10+ miles without pain in my foot so I was hopeful I might be able to pull the marathon off after all. I probably should have trained a little more, but on November 22nd, I gave the Philadelphia Marathon my best effort and was able to complete it in 5:12:16.
The pain was excruciating. Around mile 2, my right knee started hurting. At mile 17, my foot started hurting. At mile 23, I developed a blister on one of my toes. But I can proudly say I was able to persevere and finish. I like to think it was my determination to not have to train to run another marathon that helped me finish, but running 24 miles with some pretty sharp pain in my right knee was not fun. My cousin Tim met up with me in Manyunk and thankfully I had him to run the last 6-7 miles with. It made the pain a lot easier to bear. I did have to take a few more walking breaks than I would have liked, but at the end of the days, who cares, I did it! My parents, sister & her boyfriend, as well as my best friend all showed up and I was in tears as I crossed the finish line.
I wanted to say I ran a marathon in my lifetime, and now I can say I did so.
TL;DR: Ran 26.2 miles after a long journey.