The anticipation and long hours of preparation bring back memories of wedding planning....only I don't get to wear a fabulous gown and dance the night away as my reward. I get to run for 4.5 hours [definitely less glamorous, no?]
I remember the moment I decided to run a full marathon: it was at our old apartment on a frigid cold December night and I decided that I needed to get off my lazy arse and set a goal for myself. A goal that was scary and attainable and difficult all wrapped into one. So I posted about it to make it real because that's what bloggers do, right?
Here is my 'goals for 2008' post and you can see which goal held the top slot [I'll have to address the others in a few months as the year ends....don't make me cry thinking about what the weather will be like in a few months]. Then I went ahead and made it legal in February,
began training at the end of May, and the rest is history.
If by 'history' you mean a butt load of running, then I guess that statement is accurate. This training made me crawl out of bed on weekday mornings at 4:30 a.m---before the sun or the birds or any logical human being rises for the day---to run for nearly 2 hours before working a full day. This training made me trick myself into running when my inner lazy arse wanted so badly to sit on the couch and down wine/pizza/a combination of all yummy things. I ran when I was tired, ran when I was hungry, ran when I was in a craptastic mood---all because I knew I had to, in order to finish my first full marathon.
I have this patient who I treated after he had back surgery. He is probably in his 70s and was a hard core marathoner back in his day. I treated him right when my training began and he immediately began giving me advice. I'll see him around the hospital and he always asks how many miles I've run, if I have any injuries, etc. I can tell he longs to run another marathon but unfortunately, it's not possible anymore after his surgery.
A few weeks ago he hunted me down while I was in a patient's room to give me something: two pieces of paper. He informed me that these could be my inspiration, should I need them, because they both hang on his bulletin board at home. One paper holds an article written by George Sheehan, who used to be an editor at Runner's World, entitled "Why Do I Run?" It's pretty fabulous.
The other piece of paper is hand typed by an old fashioned type writer, and I wonder if my patient took it upon himself to make me this copy. I think some of you may like it, and maybe you can even gain your own inspiration from it:
"A 26-mile race is miraculous and somehow unexplainable. It requires us to rely on the spirit. It's not instant gratification. The long training hours and the race itself give us more time to look within ourselves." ~Isaiah McClain
I really do feel that I've grown as a person through this training. I'm amazed at how far I've come in a matter of months---and as a wise reader once commented, the race itself is like a cherry on top of all the difficult training. I'm excited and nervous and anxious and a little scared but I'm ready.
And just a review for you....here are my goals in sequential order:
1. Do not die.
2. Cross the finish line.
3. Beat Oprah's 4:29 time.
Now, I know they say you aren't supposed to have a time goal for your first marathon so I'll be proud of myself as long as I finish. I'll just be freaking ecstatic if I complete the race in less than 4:30, okay? Especially considering this weird lung issue that just won't go away [I've tried vitamin C and even an inhaler from the doc at work]--I realize that might slow me down a bit:)
And with that, I'll see you on the flip side. The race begins at 8:00 on Sunday morning if you want to send good vibes my way. Thank you for all of your support thus far--your comments are stored in my brain for those dark moments during the race:)