I continued running in the months following my first marathon. I joined the swim team my freshmen year of high school as a mode of cross training, and found that nothing really satisfies the way running does.
I knew from the second we crossed the finish line during the first marathon that there would be plenty more to follow. In fact, I made it a goal of mine to qualify for the Boston Marathon by the time I was 18. Yes, that would mean running 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 35 minutes, but for some reason I thought it be an attainable goal.
I began training the La Crosse Fitness Festival marathon after swim season was over. I had lost a significant amount of weight during swimming, and was told that unless I could gain some of it back I wouldn’t be able to train. I worked at it, and got back to what I thought was a healthy enough weight (even though just under 100lbs for a 15-year-old girl standing at 5’6” isn’t exactly healthy).
Instead of training with the twins, I trained with a group of my parents’ friends from church. There were several major differences between training with them and training with the twins:
- They woke up super early. Like pre-5am.
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday were 5-8 mile runs, while Saturdays were usually reserved for longer distances.
- They ran in the country and did hills, lots of hills.
- They practiced the, “Galloway Method” where they would run one mile, then walk for 30 or so seconds, and then repeat.
Although it was an adjustment, it was still an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience. I always feel 100x better after a run. Whether it’s the endorphin’s, or just the way my body’s made up, I’ll never know.
The La Crosse marathon was significantly warmer than Green Bay. It had quite a bit more hills, and although I was much more familiar with the route, it was still a much more difficult race than Green Bay.
We finished about 7 minutes slower than my Green Bay time, but I wouldn’t change anything about it. I ran with the most wonderful couple from my church and truly loved every mile of the run.
3 weeks after the La Crosse marathon, my own mother ran her first 1/2 marathon in Green Bay. I was so unbelievably proud of her for dedicating herself to this race, even though she suffered from deep-bone bruises on her feet.
So now what?