Mississippi Marathon

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Yesterday I ran the Mississippi marathon. Rachel and I drove to Jackson Mississippi on Friday while Matt and Steph took their turn watching the kids. I've been wanting to run a marathon for some time now so it was great to finally get to do it.

I was a lot more nervous than I thought I would be. I'm not generally the nervous sort but I woke about 2:30 am feeling sick to my stomach--I thought I would throw up for a while and though I did not, I never really did fall back asleep.

The Mississippi marathon is a small (less than 200 runners) "out and back" race run on a stretch of highway maintained by the park service. Unlike the big marathons you see on TV with large crowds cheering all the way, except for water stations every two miles it was pretty much just beautiful countryside with an occasional cow.

In spite of not having slept well, I was feeling pretty good on the morning of the race, and the first five miles were terrific. Then, disaster. I started to notice a pain in the bottom of my left foot. I quickly diagnosed myself with plantar fasciitis and slowed my pace for several miles in an effort to ease the pain. That strategy didn't work so at about mile 11 I picked up the pace again--that seemed to help some. Coincidentally, I ran miles 14-17 alongside a gentleman who, when I told him about my foot, identified himself as a podiatrist. I took to the opportunity to (literally) curbside him and he assured me that my strategy to resume my normal pace was a good one as my normal stride was "bio-mechanically more efficient" anyway and that even if I couldn't run for six weeks afterwards I'd "have this under [my] belt." The pain continued to the end, but through force of will I was able to finish in 4 hours, 9 minutes.

After the race I met up with the podiatrist who took the time to show me how to tape my foot in such a way as to take the stress off the fascia, a technique I will no doubt find use for in taking care of the infantry. All in all it was a great (but difficult) experience, everyone was friendly and very supportive--particularly when I told them that this was my first marathon. Already the memory of pain has faded an I am looking forward to the Country Music Marathon in late April

[this "amnestic to pain" phenomenon is what allows a woman to willingly give birth more than once, so it's not necessarily a sign of mental illness--though my wife has her doubts].

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This page contains a single entry by John published on January 13, 2002 7:17 PM.

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