Hi friends, it’s me, Chris Martin! I wanted to share this #tbt from the Chicago Marathon this year. I hadn’t posted too much about it because, well, I was disappointed with my race, and to be honest, didn’t know if I would continue doing marathons. You see, this was my first year doing two marathons in one year. It meant that including training for last year’s Chicago marathon, I had done three, 18-week cycles of marathon training in 70 weeks, leaving only 16 weeks sprinkled in that timeframe for rest, recovery, and strength training. What I didn’t realize was how tough that would be on me physically and mentally. As a physical therapist I know the importance of maintaining strength for efficiency with performance and injury prevention, but when runs turned into hours and my time was limited, I didn’t cross train as often as normal. Unfortunately, two weeks before the marathon, I sprained my ankle at the end of a run, which set up a whole cascade of injuries to follow, leaving me not 100% going into the race. I was determined to run a good race, but once my calf gave out on me just over halfway in, I knew my plan had to change from setting a PR to just finishing. It was a trying 12+ miles, where stopping seemed like a viable option. But what I kept thinking was, “you didn’t train for 18 weeks not to finish this thing!!” So I kept going, had support of family and friends along the way, and I finished. It wasn’t close to the time I had wanted, but I am proud of continuing, and crossing that finish line.
So why do I share this story? It’s definitely not for praise or compliments. It’s to show that training for and running a marathon is a lot like life. You can set out with a plan in mind, do all of the preparation and work you can, and things can go a very different way. Road bumps pop up, life happens, and you somehow see yourself traveling a very different road than you had planned. So what do you do? You keep going! You don’t give up! Your life is too precious and perfectly imperfect to waste being stuck wherever or with whatever you may be. So fight for what you want, change the game plan, and keep moving forward. You can and you will!