It has been a year since the running community and I were changed forever. April 15, 2013 will forever be remembered as the day that transformed me into a runner.
It was shortly after the infamous day that I decided to change my life. To honor those whose lives were indefinitely changed that day, I decided to commit to running the 2014 Boston Marathon. Having never ran in an organized event, this seemed to be quite the undertaking.
Since I care for runners on a regular basis and have many friends who are runners, I have had second-hand experience of training for a marathon. However, to say that I was prepared for the journey I was about to undertake would be a lie. The mental and physical toll of training for a marathon is something that can’t be explained, it can only be experienced. The time commitment has been the most challenging. Not only for myself but also my family. My long runs on Saturdays would keep me away from my family during that time, but I also would be tired the rest of they day and sometimes the rest of the weekend. It takes a very understanding family to train for an endurance event and this cannot be overlooked when considering participation.
The weather this past winter has not been the most pleasant either. I tried to do most of my long runs outside sometimes in near sub-zero temperatures. Other times, I had to run indoors on a treadmill. There is nothing like the mental challenge of running on the treadmill for miles and miles. My event coverage schedule also made it difficult at times to get my runs in. There were a few Saturday morning runs where I saw more wildlife than vehicles on the roads. However, while traveling with athletic teams, I was able to complete a 5K in Alaska and do my longest run on the hills of Maine.
One thing that I have come to realize is that training for a marathon really is a journey that will end in one day, good or bad. There are so many things that can happen on race day; the weather and health are two things that cannot be controlled. Then there is always the unexpected that can happened, as with last year’s Boston Marathon. It is a difficult notion to comprehend that one bad day, on race day, can make one feel like he or she has failed. No matter what happens on race day, this journey will come to an end.
Physically, I feel that I am ready to complete the 26.2 miles, but having never done, so it will be a completely new experience. Mentally I am trying to prepare for race day as well. This will be my second trip to Boston and first since last year’s race. I am not sure what to expect emotionally other than there will be a lot of emotions, both from the participants and spectators. People are always wondering if I am afraid to be running given last years events, however this concern has never been one of mine.
Whenever my motivation has started to wean during this journey, I have usedlast year’s experience and the thought of those whose lives were forever changed to push me forward.
Jeremy D. Metzler, MD
Prevea Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician
Medical Director for Cellcom Green Bay Marathon