Wait… Wait… Can I have both… Yes? PHEW! Thank GOD!
He’s the type of guy that… When he wants something… He immediately goes after it… If only you knew “our story”… And below is just one such example of how SPUR OF THE MOMENT my “never a dull moment” fiance is…
I ran a marathon with absolutely no training.
I also ran it having the previous day done a heavy leg workout including squats, dips and lunges. Having researched marathon preparation post race, I discovered that my diet prior to running was a diet quite similar to what you might see on the TV show My 600 Pound Life; i.e. mixed cocktails, cake, beans and fried chicken.
What compelled me to run a marathon with no training you ask?
One word: spontaneity.
Growing up, I absolutely hated running. I was a high jumper in high school and my track coach forced all those on the track team who only competed in field events to also run at least one track event as well. Since I hoped I would slip through the cracks, there was only one event that no one had signed up for, which the coach put me in almost as a punishment.
The 3200-meter race. Two miles. Death.
I cleverly found ways to skip out on running with the cross-country team in preparation for that race, which made the races during actual track and field competitions all that much more miserable.
After high school, I gave up on running for years until I visited one of my cousins who is a competitive ultra athlete; i.e. runs Iron Mans, ultra marathons and ultra, ultra marathons. Psychotic.
I always looked up to him, though, so one early morning when he was going out for a training run, he invited me along and I agreed. We ran for an hour, which up to that point in my life was about forty minutes longer than I had ever run in one period of time. That being said, he told me that I did well, and I should start training for a marathon. My stomach was in knots, my knees, calves, and hips hurt beyond belief and I knew without a shadow of a doubt, I would never in a million years be interested in running a marathon.
Well, let’s flash forward ten years. In the four months prior to my marathon, I hadn’t so much as jogged to the refrigerator. I hate running. Actually, saying “I hate running” is an insult to the word HATE. The amount of loathing that I have for repetitively throwing one foot in front of the other for extended periods of time borders on repugnant.
The morning before the marathon, my fiancé (you know, the girl who runs this blog you’re on right now) encouraged me to do a leg workout since the previous three weeks, I had only done upper body and core workouts with free weights. I absolutely hate leg day, just as much as running, so I avoid it at all costs. Nevertheless, my mental strength took over and I did a 35-minute squat, lunge, and leg press workout. Now anyone who has ever done his or her first day of legs in months knows what it feels like the next day. However, before the soreness sunk in, I went upstairs and told my fiancé on a whim, “you know, I think I could run the Los Angeles marathon tomorrow, without training, in under five hours.” She looked online for articles about running a marathon with no training and found none because it’s stupid to ever think that it’s plausible. All the more reason for me to want to run it. My entire life has been lived consistently disproving people who told me “you can never do it”.
She and I drove to the Los Angeles convention center later that day; I got my race packet, paid the egregious $250 registration fee and then we went to a dinner party where I got drunk and ate cake.
The next morning I woke up and my legs felt like jello. Squats pre-race, yeah not such a great idea. Regardless though my fiancé drove me to the staging area in bumper to bumper traffic at 4:30am (because she’s the BOMB). I stood in the queue, waiting for the starting gun and without stretching, warming up or eating anything for breakfast; I started the race off at a seven-minute mile pace for the first five miles.
I finished mile 16 without ever feeling any type of pain or exhaustion; however, my mile split time slowed down by a quarter. I was more concerned with what was happening to the characters of the book on tape I was listening to than I was the race, which made the miles fly by (I highly suggest not listening to music and instead listening to something narrative while running).
Around mile 20 though, my hips, calves, ankles and thighs started screaming at me louder than a Guantanamo Bay Prisoner. I stopped a few times over the next couple of miles to try and stretch out my calf muscles, which felt like they would cramp into a charley horse and was able to avoid that from happening.
I vaguely remember my cousin telling me that when he ran his first Iron Man, someone gave him some salt pills half-way through the race and that cured his cramps. So at the next refreshment station, I grabbed a handful of pretzels the volunteers were handing out and I will be damned if the cramps didn’t go away.
I finished the race well under the five-hour goal that I had, found out my time was in the top 25% of my age group, got my metal and without stretching, or cooling down, hopped in an Uber to go back to my fiancé’s apartment.
Since she is totally boss, she had a warm bubble bath waiting for me (I later found conflicting information online stating that warm baths are the devil after a marathon, and an ice bath is the only smart play). I then ate a bagel, a power energy gel packet, and drank a diet coke. Then I went to sleep, still having not stretched or really cooled down. I woke up from my nap two hours later feeling in no way shape or form physically exhausted. But the pain in my calves and hips was unworldly.
The next day every step felt like someone was stabbing hand blades into the middle of my calves and thighs, but again, I felt no physical exhaustion. I asked two of my friends who also ran the marathon what their times were, both told me they ran it right around the four-hour mark, both having trained for the marathon extensively and both having eaten the exact diet and stretched the exact amount of time that research suggests. The funny thing is, the pains that they experienced post-race, were the exact same as what I felt. They felt absolutely no worse and assured me they felt no better than I did having not trained a single step.
Do I suggest doing this? Running a marathon with no knowledge, base or training? Yes. Yes, I do. Training sucks. Running sucks. And both of my friends who ran the race actually had to take a month off during their training due to injuries. If I, in not even close to top physical shape, can complete in a marathon with a decent time and feel the exact same as my friends who trained for months prior, then what is the point?
Dedicated runners will take me to task and say training prevents injury. My rebuttal? I didn’t train and I in no way injured myself. It’s been a week since the race and my body is completely healed with no lingering pains. Suck it science.
My fiance ladies and gentleman… I F&$#ing LOVE THIS MAN!!
So tell me…
- Marathon… Who’s run one before? What was training like for you?
- If you’ve run a marathon, at what mile did you feel like you were “going to die”?
- Tell me a story about a time when you had a TERRIBLE running experience…
- What do you like to feast on post-workout?
- Do you think my giraffe should try running another marathon, this time, after he prepares for it?
- Have you checked out my giraffe’s YouTube channel? – His latest YouTube video will have you in tears; it’s too funny… If you’ve EVER BEEN PREGNANT… Have kids, etc… YOU WILL RELATE TO IT!