Four Days Later I Ran a Marathon

If I had a bucket list, I would finally be able to cross off running a marathon. Had you asked me two weeks ago if I would ever do so, I probably would have replied, “I would like to, but I probably never will.”

Several years ago I decided to run Indy’s 500 Festival Mini Marathon. The Indy Mini, as many Hoosiers call it, is America’s largest half marathon. It is held every year a few weekends before the Indy 500 and is part of the Indy 500’s month long Festival. Thirty-five thousand people run the race each year and ever since I moved to Indiana, I have wanted to be one of those thirty-five thousand people–I just never had the guts to commit to running the seemingly impossible distance.

Something changed last Tuesday.  I was on my way to work when a local radio host announced that he would be running in his second Mini Marathon on Saturday. It just clicked right then. I decided I would run the Mini Marathon that Saturday too. This meant I only had four days to train for the marathon. I quickly developed a five step training plan so I could complete a marathon after only four days of training.

Step 1: Get permission from the wife. I called her and asked if she had anything going on that Saturday. She said, “No.” Step 1, done.

Step 2: Find someone else to suffer through the race with me. I called a friend and pretty much told him he would be running the marathon with me. He agreed thinking that I was playing a practical joke on him.  Step 2, done.

Step 3: Find a Mini racing bib to buy from another participant. My friend and I found two bibs to buy from two girls who were injured and could no longer run the Mini. My friend still believed I was playing a practical joke on him. Step 3, done.

Step 4: Do not get injured at basketball on Tuesday. I went easy during basketball to make sure I wasn’t the recipient of a freak broken bone or knee injury. Step 4, done.

Step 5: Research the best way to avoid bloody nipples. Not wanting to take any chances, I combined two methods to prevent the dreaded bloody nipples marathon runners sometimes get. I used some chub rub and band-aids.  Step 5, done.

That was it. My five step program to train for a marathon was complete.

Saturday came and I completed the marathon. My time of 2 hours 27 minutes was slower than I wanted it to be, but I am still amazed I actually finished the thing.  I had never run any where close to that distance before.

Why would I run a marathon with only four days of preparation? The main reason was to prove to myself that I could. I also like a good story and four days of training makes for a good story.

I also want to be in good physical shape so that I can still participate in physical activities with my children when they are in their 20s. When my daughters get older, they may become interested in running marathons or triathlons or other physical activities, and I would love to be able to participate in those events with them. Who knows, maybe one of my girls and me will be a father/daughter team and participate on a season of CBS’s The Amazing Race. I also want my kids to understand that they can do anything they set their minds to.

Here are a few pictures from the day that I ran a marathon:

  • Me and Addie Aligator Hunting 1 of 9
    Me and Addie Aligator Hunting
    That is not the body of a runner. Look at those short legs.
  • Addie and Vivi 2 of 9
    Addie and Vivi
    My family surprised me at the finish line.
  • Addie’s Balloons 3 of 9
    Addie's Balloons
    Addie and Casey filled some balloons with helium and Addie wrote messages and drew pictures on them.
  • Addie’s Dog 4 of 9
    Addie's Dog
    Addie drew this dog, which looks an awful lot like a rabbit, on a balloon. The rabbit dog apparently says, "woof." Addie swore I would call it a rat dog.
  • My Racing Bib 5 of 9
    My Racing Bib
    Beggars can't be choosers. Because I decided to run the Mini so late, I missed registration by several months. I was forced to buy the first racing bib I could find, which ended up being a bib tht had belonged to a girl named Emily. I got quite a few comments during the race about my name, including a call out by the radio station as I was about to cross the finish line.
  • Me at the Starting Line 6 of 9
    Me at the Starting Line
    This is my scared face. What you can't see is the 15,000 or so people lined up behind me and the 20,000 people lined up in front of me waiting to get the race underway.
  • Steve and Me 7 of 9
    Steve and Me
    This is my friend Steve. He was the friend I convinced to run the marathon with me. He hadn't run in around six months before Tuesday, but he was a good sport and agreed to run the race. He completed the race in under 3 hours, which is very impressive considering the circumstances. We plan to run at least one half-marathon each year together from now on. If you look closely, you can see that Steve ran as Jessica.
  • Me and My Family 8 of 9
    Me and My Family
    This may be just the second picture with my entire family in the same picture. This is also post race. What you can't see is that I am completely drenched thanks to the humidity and the sweat that is caused from a 13.1 mile run.
  • Vivi and Me 9 of 9
    Vivi and Me
    Vivi demanded that I pick her up even though I was drenched. Carrying a 25 pound baby after running 13.1 miles is not an easy task.

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