In February of this year I was itching for something to challenge myself. I was yearning for a physical challenge that would be so gruelling that it would test me mentally and emotionally as well. I was looking for a test. Something outside of my comfort zone and what I considered to be super fucking ridiculously crazy. So, I decided to run the Detroit Free Press International Marathon that took place just recently on October 15, 2016. For those of you who don’t know how long a marathon is it’s 26.2M (42K). I’ve never ran a full or half marathon prior to this, or anything over 10K! So I was stoaked to start testing my fitness and seeing what I was capable of.
I’ve been an avid CrossFitter for over 4 years at the time I signed up and therefore I felt strong enough and fit enough to run a marathon without putting in tons of training. My plan was to keep doing CrossFit regularly but incorporate running (both long runs and short runs) more frequently. However, my marathon running friends/family convinced me that it would be downright silly and dangerous if I didn’t train. So, I took their advice (mainly to prevent injury the day of the race) and started running like a mad woman. Over the course of 5 months, I went from a 10K (week 1) to a 25K which I accomplished two weeks before the race. Throughout my marathon training, I would incorporate WODs 2-3 days/week because I missed CrossFit like crazy! You can take the girl out of CrossFit but you can’t take CrossFit out of the girl hehe!
HOW I FELT THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS
As the weeks progressed, I felt myself growing weaker, slower, and way more exhausted then I should have felt while doing CrossFit Classes. Weights that I once considered to be light began to feel extremely heavy and hitting W.O.D’s with the intensity I used to bring felt nearly impossible. Not only that, my mobility (or lack thereof) was seriously laughable. I have NEVER felt more sore, have gotten more injuries, and felt overall LESS CAPABLE (functional) in my entire life then when I was training for this marathon. I began to lose weight (which was all muscle), and felt soft as baby shit.
THE MORNING OF THE MARATHON
The day of the Marathon came (obvs.) and I was excited.
My thoughts the morning of the race…“THIS! This is what I put CrossFit on the backburner for. This is redemption day. The day I finally get the test I’ve been looking and waiting for since February!”
I felt ready. I didn’t feel great (read above haha) but I felt ready. I couldn’t wait to cross the finish line! “You’re going to feel AMAZING after crossing the finish line!” I can’t tell you how many people told me this who have ran marathons themselves before. So naturally I was looking forward to this glorious moment that everyone spoke of.
DURING THE MARATHON
Two words: boring and painful.
Don’t get me wrong. The energy of the people who came out to watch and cheer everyone on was EPIC! Really the signs were hilarious and made me laugh.
Regardless of my dedication through training, having the proper fuelling and hydration on me, my lower body felt stricken with rigormortis. I could barely lift my feet off the ground, but I was still feeling great mentally and emotionally. I was NOT going to quit, not for a second; it never even crossed my mind.
THE FINISH LINE
I saw the finish line in the distance and as I was approaching it, I was waiting for #AllTheFeels to come to me….but I felt nothing.
“Okay! Maybe when I actually cross the finish line I’ll feel unreaI?!”
I crossed the finish line and felt nothing.
I felt zero sense of accomplishment or satisfaction.
I didn’t get what I was looking for.
I thought this was going to be a HUGE mental, physical, and emotional challenge and it wasn’t. I’ve felt WAY bigger challenges (mentally, physically, and emotionally) pertaining to fitness just by doing a 10 Min AMRAP at the box.
I put CrossFit on the backburner and it wasn’t worth it.
I regret taking so much time to train for the marathon. If I can go back and not train for it as much, I would and I think that I would have still been able to run it just fine (if not better).
I thought I was going to be in better shape then I ended up in, but instead, I lost a lot of muscle, strength, and definition that I worked really hard for.
Because of this marathon, I appreciate CrossFit 10 times more then I ever have. I have a completely different outlook on CrossFit and how much it jives with me and my life and what my body needs and desires to strive in terms of physical fitness. It is truly what feels best for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. This new outlook allows me to tackle W.O.D’s differently and get through physical challenges that I don’t think I would have gotten through otherwise.
And yes, I am proud that I finished! But I knew I was going to regardless. I would have crawled past that finish line if I had to.
Next time I want a HUGE mental physical and emotional challenge pertaining to fitness, I’m just going to do FRAN.
I know what you’re thinking….this article is a little bias based off of my position here at the box. But I promise you that these feelings are genuine and in no way twisted to glorify CrossFit.
Also, in no way am I bashing people that run marathons or like to run marathons. I don’t consider myself, in any way, “above” people who run. Personally, marathons just don’t “do it” for me. It wasn’t the challenge I was looking for or expecting. I am also not delivering this blog in any other way but my own personal perspective. Please do not interpret my personal feelings on the race to be conceited or boastful. I merely want to share my experience because I have yet to read or hear perspectives on marathons that are like mine.