When I ran my first marathon I was 22. I had just graduated from college, started my first real job and began my first semester of graduate school. I was a different person than I am today. In a lot of ways, I think I’m a not only a stronger runner today, but also a stronger person.
After the Marine Corps Marathon, I did not run again for 3 weeks. When I look back through my training journal from then, I see that a week and half after the marathon, I wrote that I thought about going for a run but decided not to. My first post-marathon run 3 weeks later was short – just 2.5 miles. It ended with pain and feeling out of shape. I was happy to run again, but the pain I experienced in my arches during my training was still there. I went through the post-marathon blues. After months of training, the race was over and I couldn’t keep running. I was burnt out mentally and hurting physically.
In the Winter of 2006/2007, Team in Training asked me to be a mentor for a Spring race; I declined because I didn’t think I was ready for another marathon. In the Spring of 2007, I made the decision to run the Marine Corps Marathon again in the Fall with TNT.
I was in a car accident in May 2007. A car crossed the center line and came at me head on. I swerved into the shoulder and it hit my car on the rear passenger door, totaling it. Everyone one was fine, but I hurt my neck. I went through 2 months of physical therapy, but I still had pain. It turned out I had a bulging disc in my neck. It caused pain that would radiate from my upper neck down to my shoulder and through my right arm. Running caused me more pain so needless to say, the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon was not an option.
In the Fall of 2007, hubby (who was my fiancé at the time) and I began to do a lot of running together while we lived in DC. We ran the So Others May Eat Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day together. It’s a race for a great cause and we will be doing it again this year with Zain. I’m really looking forward to it. It was our first race as a couple and it will be our first family race.
In 2008, hubby and I both ran, but not consistently enough that we signed up for any races. It was a big year for us though because it’s when this happened:
In the Fall of 2008, while trying to get pregnant, I went through my first miscarriage. I was not running before that pregnancy, but I ran again as soon as I had doctor clearance. Running helped ease my pain and heartache. My running was inconsistent though and I didn’t consider any races because I knew I wanted to get pregnant again and I did not plan to run through my pregnancy – I have nothing against running in pregnancy, but I wasn’t a strong enough runner at the time to do that.
In 2009, hubby and I considered running a half marathon in March, but since we were still trying to get pregnant, I was worried about building up my mileage. I found out I was pregnant with Zain just over a month after we had been through our second miscarriage. Running was not even a thought in my mind at that point. I just wanted a healthy baby.
Zain was born via emergency c-section. The cord was wrapped around his neck twice and he was in distress while I was in labor. It was a very scary experience. Thankfully, they got him out and I was so happy to finally meet my little boy – who I didn’t know was a boy because we didn’t find out the gender while I was pregnant. He made us whole.
The recovery from the c-section was far from pleasant and I didn’t start running again until Zain was 2.5 to 3 months old. I didn’t even consider any races the first year of his life because a.) I was too tired, b.) I was nursing and he didn’t like bottles, and c.) I just wasn’t running nearly enough to feel ready to train for a race.
The reason hubby and I recommitted to running this year was because the MD Half Marathon came to our area. It was so close to our house that we felt like we had to run it. Training for that went so well that we decided to go ahead and sign up for the Baltimore Marathon.
So there you have it – a summary of the past 5 years of my running life. I can promise you I will not wait another 5 years to run my next marathon!