Guest Blogger Courtney Alev
Last year, on May 1st, I ran my first marathon. I went through the same ups and downs of first-time marathon training that many of you are probably going through right now: the huge highs of realizing you could run farther than you ever thought you could; the lows of soreness, nagging pain, doubt creeping in making you question what was possible. I slept probably a total of 15 minutes the night before the 2011 Big Sur Marathon, and the race that followed will go down in history of one of the most special days of my life. There is simply an amazing feeling when you cross that finish line for the first time and realize that you are a marathoner, and that no one can take that away from you.
Yesterday, I returned to Big Sur to run not my first, but my fifth marathon. I was celebrating my marathon anniversary (marathoniversary?) with another run across the jagged California coast. This time, the circumstances were much different. Gone was the fear of the unknown, the gaping black hole of whatever would happen once you got past mile 22. In its place were a new set of anxieties—should I be doing this so soon after injury? Exactly how slow can I go before they close the course? Will my knee be okay? Is it a good idea to wear new arm warmers, a new fuel belt and a new shirt on race day? (Answer: no, don’t do that, but luckily it worked out fine.)
The day began much like last year, with a 2:30AM wakeup call and a bus ride full of sleepy yet energized runners. Last year when I crossed the start […]