“In my most painful moments on the bike, I am at my most curious, andI wonder each and every time how I will respond.” - Lance Armstrong
Say what you want about Lance, but regardless of whether or not he used performance enhancing drugs he is still an unbelievable athlete and competitor. I read this quote yesterday from him and realized that in one sentence he summarized the point I had tried to make last year in my "Runners are all a little crazy" post when I wrote about "the sick enjoyment I get from pushing my body to new extremes to see what it is capable of doing".
I finished my first marathon a few months back just under 3 hours 45 minutes. It was an awesome event and most definitely the hardest physical challenge of my life. I learned a lot about myself, mainly that I can run 13 miles with cramping quads and somehow manage to put the pain aside for the last 3 miles when I stepped on the gas to get under 3:45. I also learned that my long term goal of qualifying for Boston (<3:05 needed) is more or less unattainable, but hey, you never know, right?
I was surprised at how much the race took out of me, it took almost a month before my legs were no longer shaky/weak and then not until this past week (2+ months later) where I was able to run fast and pain free once again (I've had a few nagging injuries keeping me from running much). It sure feels great to be back out there, and I can't wait for the half marathon I plan to run later this fall.