Part of my running life is becoming more adventurous and less tied to what everyone else does. . . more free to try being whom I want to be as a runner. Adventure to me is about going the distance in a 50K, not knowing that the river at the end is going to be up to my thighs on my 5’10” frame. Adventure to me is signing up for a marathon the day before the race. Adventure for me is abandoning my watch and my fuel belt for the first time in five years. Adventure is knowing it’s gonna be hard and choosing to go for it. To some, this may seem foolish. To me? This is adventure.
My husband and I travel to San Diego each year to run a race. The first Sunday in June is the San Diego Marathon and 1/2 Marathon. For the past three years, I have run the Marathon. This year, I did not sign up early. I decided to wait until we arrived to decide. This race usually sells out early. This year, it did not. I decided the day before to run the marathon.
Race day went something like this. . . I chose not to wear a watch or a fuel belt. I planned to walk through each aid station and stop at the bathroom, if I needed. I was planning on running a 5 hour marathon. Well, the weather was perfect! It was overcast for the entire race. The breeze by the ocean was perfect. It even drizzled a bit. It was a hillier course than last year. The “hills” in San Diego, CA are nothing like the “hills” in Franklin, TN. I think the tough part about the ‘hills’ in San Diego is that they were long inclines, and those inclines came towards the end of the race, about miles 19-21. This is a good example to all that you can walk through the aid stations and still finish in good time. My first marathon finish was 4:48. My second marathon finish was 4:45. My third marathon finish was 4:20. I finished this marathon in 4:41.
This is the first marathon that I ran without a watch, without a fuel belt, walking through each aid station and look how my time compared! I did not hit any “wall”. I have a new mentality going into long races now. I reminded myself that the race does not begin until mile 19. I am using this mantra for my ultra marathons. It also worked for me in this race. It helped me to be patient and hold on to the place I was at any given moment in this race.
Adventure is knowing who you are and putting yourself in situations to prove it. 🙂 Allow the unknown to be your ally and not your enemy. Load yourself up mentally with the tools you will need. Adventure to me is choosing long distance over short distance. Adventure to me is choosing hills over flats. Adventure to me is repeating speed, repeating distance and repeating hills.