26.2 'Mile'stones

It's on.
In an approximately 42 and a half hours from this entry, I anticipate a total body collapse.. a dramatic free fall to the hard ground in the schoolyard of one of Red Deer's elementary playgrounds. Indeed, it's true...

I'm running a fucking marathon.

The idea was planted in my head back in January. A romantic proposal. "Hey, you run a lot. Why not actually run with a goal?". My ambitious nature flared up at the thought of the challenge. I quickly bashed aside the idea of a half marathon, and decided to go ALL IN for the king size race. 

The training began back in January... weaving through Edmonton's intoxicating river valley. I have a deeply set love for my city's ribbon of green. The love roots itself in the centre of my heart and explodes outwards like branches hanging off the famous weeping willows.... except in the winter. In winter, training was more of the cautious-don't-fall-on-face-tiny-light-steps-on-looming-ice kind of strides. It was bundle-up-in-every-layer-from-the-house and just remember it's all part of the process. Being as I wasn't much of a 'professional runner' before this tackle, I was lacking in much needed gear (such as spikes for the ice!). I also have a small (and completely unnecessary) stubborn streak that spoke "pffft, you don't need spikes". Inner curses were shouted each time I ran without them.

February rolled by and paved the way for March, Edmonton experienced a pleasantly short winter; the warm temperatures started to commit. Off came the layers and I began to feel the benefits of the training. The snow peeled off the path, I started to see fellow runners and bikers sharing the trail, and my strides became longer. In early April I surpassed the longest of runs I had ever ran - it was 15 miles (24.14km)..... I had gone farther than a half marathon!.... and I got heat stroke. Negligence to wear sunscreen on April 2nd in Alberta led to total heat exhaustion, a lobster body, and sun blisters. Ouch.

I recovered and kept training.

My next sign of injury occurred the day after I finished an 18 mile long run. I felt like a champion after the distance, but my right hamstring felt like a defeated soldier.. tight, weary, and pulled to shreds. My loving training partner suggested I take it easy that week, stretch, do yoga, and continue on after I healed. Indeed stretching was embraced.. taking it easy wasn't. I kept pushing, but miraculously, the angels of restoration shed their dust and my leg currently feels great!

I have seen parts of Edmonton that I can't believe exist. Having the opportunity to explore and appreciate new depths within the valley has been, by FAR, the most rewarding part of the journey. There is vast amounts of colour in the array of trees, and in the spring, they proudly spread their branches forth, like peacocks, reaching for the sun. The light bouncing off the river is illuminating; it decorates the bank's edges with golds, silvers, and blues. The perfumes from the blooming flowers is heady. The positive energy from passing people is internalized and used as a stimulant. The hundreds of unused kilometres of path, parks, and footbridges creates a feeling of inspiring isolation and calm beauty.

The training process has been gruelling, enlightening, difficult, and satisfying. I have a lot of anxiety for the actual race upcoming this Sunday. The longest run during the training was excruciatingly painful and is still 6 miles less than the actual marathon. The marathon - 42.2km - still seems, in a lot of ways, like an unmanageable distance. To worsen the matters, the forecast is cold and rainy.

However, I have repeatedly pushed my limits. Sunday is merely the last hurdle in an all encompassing four month challenge.

It's just another run.

~ JT

1 comment

  • Jonny Wong

    Jonny Wong

    Rock on.

    Rock on.

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