Back up the truck
Here’s the backstory: clearly I am in love with yoga. I have other loves too. Yoga is the One Thing, however, that makes you better at everything you do – running, biking, wifing, mothering, friending, sistering, writing, existing. So when I am training for a race, yoga is an integral part of getting past mile 19. It’s the focus, the breath, the living in the present afforded by a regular yoga practice that takes past the “I can’t do it” place”. Oh yes, you can. If you can breathe and have the desire you can do anything.
Tip # 1: Maintain your regular Yoga practice while training
I love mile 19
Four years ago I ran my first half marathon. The next week I ran my second. Five months later I ran my first full marathon. Six months later I ran my second. I have run 4 more half’s and am currently training for my 7th. Clearly I like to run. So many of you out there put me to shame with the number of races under your belt. I list these events to demonstrate that I love yoga and I (almost love) like to run. To me half marathons are a bit more manageable than fulls from a training and endurance perspective. I like the 13.1 mile distance a lot. It’s a great accomplishment, the training won’t keep you away from your family and job too much and it keeps you in terrific shape without as much opportunity for injury.
For me the difference between a half and a full marathon is huge. Friends have asked if I plan to run any more full marathons. I know I have at least one more in me because I adore mile 19.
During my second marathon here’s what happened:
I am scooting along after crossing the Lee Bridge into high winds. I grabbed a banana at mile 18.5 from one of the volunteers whom I also want to marry. (marrymeracevolunteer.com) That little gesture made me feel like a rock star. As I looked ahead I saw the huge “Mile 19” flag and knew I had almost laid another one down. As I approached the marker, a cooler-than-a-cucumber DJ played Michael Jackson’s “You wanna be starting somethin”. This a fine song but it was the DJ that got me stoked. He said:
“Yeah, you wanna be startin something alright but guess what, you are going to finish something TODAY.”
Then I knew, I was finishing this baby. Yes I was. I want to marry him too (marrymedjatmile19.com). THEN, just past Sir Mix A lot I saw the person I did marry. My husband showed up at mile 19.5 to run me in. He said I looked good and he was proud of me and we were going do this. At mile 24 when I wanted to walk just a little he told me all this training wasn’t coming done to two miles. He said I was not a “P*ssy” so I shouldn’t act like one. It worked. I ran through the finish line with a feeling in my heart and body like I had when I gave birth to my 3rd child sans drugs. I couldn’t believe I had done it. My husband was with me and he was proud.
Me in drag. (Source: boxingnewsonline.com)
I WANT ANOTHER MILE 19 EXPERIENCE AND THEY DON’T OFFER THEM IN HALF MARATHONS.
Tip #2: Take the banana when the race volunteer offers.
Tip #3: Listen to songs that inspire you. Hear the crowd and Believe that you will finish
Tip #4: Plant someone along the way who isn’t afraid to call you a P*ssy”.
What do you do besides yoga? What’s your mile-19 experience?