Ever have one of those moments when you say, “What was I thinking?” Well, I recently had one of those moments. And now, I must spend the next few months dealing with this momentary lapse of judgment.
I’ve had this crazy idea nagging at me for awhile now. It’s something that I’d love to accomplish, yet the whole idea of it is quite scary. Since the idea has lingered with me for so long, I decided it was time to just go for it. I needed to cross this thing off my bucket list. I was going to run a marathon before I turned forty.
This milestone birthday is about seven months away, so I didn’t have much time to put this challenge off any longer. I went online and signed up for the Maine Marathon in October. I hit the submit button, verification came back that I was officially registered, and I almost threw up. Panic set in. What was I thinking?
|The long road ahead...|
I was never a runner, per se. I played sports all through school, so running was involved, but I never ran long distances. I could never imagine how people ran cross country. I mean, why would anyone want to run a few miles unless they were being chased? Well, fast forward to my mid-30s. I was happily married, had my first child, and found myself a few pounds heavier than I wanted to be. In the process of trying to lose weight, I started walking which then led to running. The first time I ran a mile, it was as if I had run a marathon. It was really an accomplishment. Soon after, I set a goal of running a 5K. I don’t even remember what made me decide to do it, but I signed up for the Seadogs Mother’s Day 5K. I prepared for it and on Mother’s Day of 2008, I successfully completed my first race. I was hooked.
Since that first race in 2008, I have run ten 5Ks, a 4-miler, two 10Ks, two 10-milers, and a half marathon. I currently have another 10K (Beach 2 Beacon) on the docket and now a full marathon. I’m using an 18 week training plan to prepare for this race. I have just finished week two. So far it’s not bad because this weekend’s long run was only 7 miles. That’s still in my range. Once I start having to run more than 13 miles, it’ll be more than I’ve ever done, so I’m more nervous about that. It won’t be until the end of July that those distances start coming, so I’m safe for a little longer.
I suckered, I mean, encouraged my friend Johanna to do it with me. She is also turning 40 on her next birthday (3 months before me!). I figured it would be better to have someone else to die with, I mean, to have as a support when running those God awful distances. I fear I’ll be delirious by mile 22, so having someone with me (especially a nurse) to talk me through it or pick me up off the ground will be helpful.
I’m sure by the time October 6th rolls around, there will be many times in my training that I’ll ask myself what the heck I was thinking. But, being goal-oriented, I will also be thrilled when I cross that finish line and can check off this bucket list item. Even if I have to walk a little and it takes me 7 hours, it will be an accomplishment. And sometimes that’s worth all the torture getting there.
Until my mother reminded me, I had forgotten that my running career really began in 1983. I had entered a 1-mile race in Rumford and won for my age group! I think after that I decided to retire from running so I could end on a high note. Why mess with first place? Well, my running hiatus of 25 years ended and I’ve never come in first place again and likely never will. There are just some darn fast runners out there.