marathoning, by the numbers

i ran 18 miles today. without stopping! ok, i guess i stopped a few times to get water or adjust my shoes, and i did walk for a stretch several times, but come on! i ran 18 miles! to date, it is the longest i’ve run in my life.

the amazing thing is, i accomplished the same feat just 2 weeks ago (running as far as i had run before). 2 weeks before that, same thing. that’s 3 personal bests for distance in 1 month. i’m going to keep adding distance in the weeks to come, because 10 weeks from today, Lord willing and the shin splints don’t rise, i will run my first full marathon ever, which is of course 26.2 miles, on october 19, 2013.

wheelchairreally, though, the journey will be far longer than that. you see, 8 months, 2 weeks, and 5 days ago, while attempting my first 5k, this aspiring runner fell and broke my foot, and my arm, just for good measure. clinically speaking, i sustained an avulsion fracture to my left calcaneus (heel bone) and fractured the head of my right radius (one of the two bones that connect the elbow to the wrist). instead of enjoying thanksgiving day with family, i spent almost 7 hours in the emergency room. the only feast i got until most guests had left (it was supposed to be our first time hosting, and family had even come from out of town) was a snickers bar my sister found in the vending machine. the ugly thing about injuries to opposite corners of the body: crutches are worthless. i could only hop/hobble in and out of a borrowed wheelchair for the next week. i wore a walking boot for 6 weeks, but wasn’t able to begin running again for 3 months after the accident. that’s a big interruption.

since then, by the grace of God and a huge helping of perseverance, i have run a 4-miler, a half marathon (13.1 miles), a fun run of inexact distance, a 10k, and tomorrow morning rene and i will lace up for the race for the cure, benefitting the susan g. komen foundation. i’ll be doing the 5k, still technically my first, and she’ll be walking the 1-mile.

hospital hillthe last 8 1/2 months have been grueling, revealing, and intense. the ongoing support of my family and friends has sustained me, as have prayer and sheer determination. i’d love to continue sharing this journey here. some posts will be on the practical side, from gear, training and nutrition hints i’ve picked up along the way, to ones more reflective in nature. during the month of september, i’ll be curating a conversation with some of the middle schoolers at jacob’s well on how, for me, running is a way i worship God in a very tangible way.

you’re welcome to hang out with me as i continue to learn from this path. you can follow, or just search this blog for the tag “running.” now if you’ll excuse me, we have some giant pink ribbons to figure out for tomorrow’s race.

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About andrew burden

andrew blogs about being a volunteer youth leader, teacher, video editor, husband, friend, child of God
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