Find out what you're made of, run a marathon
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    Exclamation Find out what you're made of, run a marathon

    Find out what you're made of, run a marathon

    6/19/2008 By Cpl. Robert Beaver , Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

    MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO —Batgirl passed me at about mile 20 during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. If she could not inspire me to keep running, then nothing would.

    I had been walking and running since the 10th mile. At mile 16, my legs quit. I had one hour to run the final 10 miles to meet my time goal. This would normally be attainable for me, only this time I already ran quite a few miles at the wrong pace.

    I’m a good runner with potential to be even better if I applied myself, but my stubbornness holds me back as a runner.

    While training, I didn’t need to read runners’ magazines, try magic pills or use high speed gear. I arrogantly thought I could do it alone and in a time that I didn’t come close to making.

    Fortunately, I met my main goal; I survived. I finished at 4 hours and 47 minutes.

    Yeah, it sometimes felt like an eternity and was depressing at times because I could only run 100 feet before I had to walk a mile. I learned a lot about myself and that anybody can finish a marathon.

    I actually encourage anybody thinking about running a marathon, to do it. It’s going to be tough but rewarding.

    If you really think about it, 26.2 miles is not that far. There was a guest speaker at the expo before the race, who ran 700 miles to San Diego so that he could run the marathon.

    The elite runners make marathons look difficult because they run so fast. Remember that there are more than 10,000 runners behind them who are going to finish as well.

    All it takes to finish is training, proper nutrition and more importantly, positive mental attitude.

    If you can convince yourself that you are going to finish a marathon, you will. If you’re convinced, your will to train will come that much easier.

    During my training, I was convinced that I was going to finish. During the race, every major muscle in my legs cramped up – forcing me to walk most of the final miles of the race. I remained positive and made it.

    I trained but I could have trained better. Running long distances is not enough. You also have to spend time in the gym strengthening your body and improving your flexibility. The stronger you are the faster you are.

    Think about improving your core, leg muscles and your feet, which are the most important because they are your body’s foundation. When your feet tire, your legs begin to tire.

    Most Americans suffer from pronation problems which affect the alignment of their feet and chins. Problems can be caused for a number of reasons such as wearing tight or loose footwear for a long time.

    Simply wearing footwear can mess up our feet. During years of wearing shoes, our feet are unchallenged because they are not forced to support themselves—the shoes do.

    We lose the muscle strength in our feet that holds our alignment straight. Running on a bad alignment makes it easier to tire out.

    So train your feet. Try activities barefoot and ensure you’re not going to step on something that will hurt your feet. Search the Internet for ways to strengthen and improve the flexibility of your feet. Strong feet will improve your ability to absorb the shock of pounding cement over long distances.

    If think you may need a little more inspiration, know that San Diego is ranked second as the best city to run in America. The weather and terrain make it a great place to train. San Diego also has several runners’ clubs that you can get involved in to help improve your running.
    If all else fails maybe you could try bat wings. No matter what route you choose, remember to have fun and maybe we will see each other out there next year.


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