A few weeks ago I began pondering when and where to run my first marathon.
Correction: I pondered when and where to run my first marathon about five years ago, and I settled on the Kansas City Marathon so my family could be there to see it.
That was a road marathon, however. I got injured during my 16-mile long run, and a four-year break from running followed.
So let’s try this again … A few weeks ago I began pondering when and where to run my first trail marathon. Sure, it’d be my first marathon of any sort, but I’ve pretty much sworn off pavement since returning to running. I’ve done two trail half marathons so far, and I’ll be running the Pikes Peak Ascent half marathon in August.
After that, it seems reasonable to begin building up to a marathon.
My first thought was to do the Rockin’ K Marathon at Kanopolis State Park. I went to Kanopolis for the first time in March and did a few hours of hiking. Already I could see why it has earned such a great reputation. The terrain is rugged and forces you to go much slower than normal, but that’s O.K. because the scenery makes it worthwhile to take your time.
Still, on that initial trip I simply hiked. Today I returned to Kanopolis and had my running shoes with me. My legs managed two miles … maybe … before feeling weary. Some of that can be attributed to a three-week layoff while nursing a foot injury, and some of it can be blamed on stopping to take pictures of deer, turkeys and prairie dogs, but the Rockin’ K trail deserves most of the credit. Already it’s forcing me to question this grand idea to make my first marathon the Rockin’ K.
Perhaps I’ll find another race before then, and I’ll certainly be in better shape come next April.
Another trip to Kanopolis State Park may be in order this summer to give the trails another test run to see if this is such a good idea after all.