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Tangled Up in Blue: Marathon training

I didn’t run any marathons this past month, despite three months of semiserious training.

The Space Coast Marathon went off in Orlando the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I was at the start, ready for the predawn gun before realizing I wasn’t ready at all.

I had driven an hour from my grandmother’s house at 4 a.m., with all my running gear in the back seat, but I made a fatal mistake. Instead of grabbing my sports bra, I grabbed my bathing suit bottoms.

I was at the start of a 26.2-mile race with just a pair of bathing suit bottoms, running shorts and shoes. I panicked.

I called Patrick back in Alaska, who was luckily still awake at midnight Alaska time. A minor freakout was quickly followed by his suggestion I find a Walmart. Unfortunately for me, though, the nearest Walmart was closed for COVID cleaning.

I asked the officials if there was somewhere to buy a sports bra nearby. One suggested saran, and I decided that it would probably be best to call this one a wrap.

I hopped in my car and drove the hour back home, getting back just as my grandmother and dad were waking up. I crawled into bed with some exasperated explanation.

A few hours later when I woke up again, I decided to put that bathing suit to use. I had a marathon sunbathing session, ran a few miles barefoot along the beach, and then enjoyed a refreshing cocktail while floating in the pool.

I can’t really complain.

The next Sunday, I found myself waking up early for another marathon — the California International Marathon in Sacramento.

But, while Patrick laced up his shoes to take the bus out to Folsom, I lounged and waited until it was a reasonable hour to start spectating.

Then, throughout the day, I exhausted myself by cheering, eating and celebrating. I followed along as a group of my friends accomplished their goals, ran really far, and then looked utterly fatigued.

Throughout the day, I felt twangs of jealousy. If my own, early morning brain fog hadn’t gotten in the way, I could’ve had some accomplishments behind me. Or, if I had known the Space Coast didn’t work out I could’ve been registered for CIM. Lots and lots of ifs, about lots and lots of miles not run.

But, like I said, I can’t complain. I got to spend some time cheering on my friends, hanging with my friends, and avoiding 26.2 miles of pavement.

Plus, there’s always another marathon somewhere down the line.

Kat Sorensen is the executive director of the Seward Chamber of Commerce. She writes a biweekly column on outdoors and recreation for the Peninsula Clarion.

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