Today it is hard to fathom that there was a time pre Title IX (1972) when running, like most sports, was considered unladylike and females were not allowed to join in. I grew up dreaming of one day running a marathon: alas, injury thwarted that goal, so I was especially thrilled that my niece became a runner. No one cheered louder (long distance) when on Sunday, October 20th, Marie stood at the starting line of her first marathon, the IMT Des Moines Marathon 2013. This blog is dedicated to her and to all those marathoners out there. Run, run, run for those of us who can’t.
What compelled you to train for a marathon? When I ran on the varsity cross-country team in high school we handed out water at the Twin Cities Marathon. I thought those marathoners were insane but SO COOL! It’s been on my bucket list ever since. I missed competitive sports, so to keep the up with my competitive side I need motivation and racing is just that. In June, I ran a half marathon with my cousin, Kayla, and her husband, Steve. As soon as we crossed that finish line she said, ‘We’re signing up for a marathon.’ I thought she was nuts. But here we are.. marathoners.
What all does marathon training entail? It is a huge time commitment to training that includes a combination of easy run, speed workout, tempo pace, and then gradually building up to 15, 16, 17, 18, 20 and 21-mile long runs.
What motivated you to maintain your rigorous training schedule? I was NOT going to be that lameo, who didn’t finish something I set out to do. If I didn’t train there was no way I would cross that finish line. My friends rarely saw me; I didn’t go out on weekdays or weekends. This marathon became my life.
What kept you going in the marathon when you knee started hurting and you got tired? I didn’t train for 4 months for nothing. I never had any pain while training so when my knee started throbbing after mile 10, I was P.O.ed, but I kept going because NOTHING was going to stop me.(I even texted my mom for Advil and I NEVER take drugs!). Kayla and I actually ran faster in our last 10k than our first 10k.
Why do you like to run? I get a runners high crossing the finish line! Running is my ‘me’ time, I get to think about whatever I want, whenever I want, OUTSIDE!
Completing a marathon takes a huge commitment from the athlete, but Marie credits her family with having the biggest impact. Family – aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, sibling and especially my mom and dad – showed support by biking with me, bringing water, telephoning with encouragement, sending text messages, offering a massage gift card and nine Carlsons cheered us on throughout the whole 26.2 miles.
What advice would you give anyone thinking about running a marathon? ANYONE CAN DO IT! SERIOUSLY. Yeah, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And my biggest accomplishment (including college). BUT if you train for it, you can do it. A lot of the training is physically draining but most of it is mental. If you can stop saying you ‘can’t’ and start saying ‘I can’, you will!
What have you benefited from most from your sport? Running a marathon was my dream. And I lived my dream. Yeah, I had a lot of help, BUT I RAN IT! Nobody picked me up and carried me, I ran the whole thing on my own two feet. After college I was just bumming around and not exercising. Now I have a pretty good reason to get off the couch and exercise and feel good about myself.
Future goals? Kayla and I wanted to finish it in under 5 hours; we ran 26.2 miles in 4 hours, 38 minutes. I just wanted to run a marathon; now I want to run another. John Pupkes, also a marathoner, was the first person to run with me on a long run at the cabin and has encouraged me from day one! I will run the Twin Cities Marathon with him this fall and make it in under 4 hours.
Anything else you would like to add? WELL. I CAN’T WALK NORMAL. I have never been in so much pain. I’ve never been through childbirth of course, but this is pretty darn painful. My knee feels like it is tearing apart and my ankle feels broken. BUT I’m going to run another one and another one and another… OH AND I COULD NOT HAVE DONE WITH THIS WITHOUT MY ENTIRE CARLSON AND MCKINZIE FAMILY!
Run Ri Ri Run!