Saturday, November 15, 2008
26.2 in 24
In less than 24 hours, I will set out to run in the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa. The race, which begins downtown and darts along the river towards Jenks, gets underway at 8am. The mercury will be hovering in the upper 30's... freakin' cold.
People who don't run don't get running. I'll admit, I don't get it either some days. I grew up running chasing after something. I'd run from first to second base. I'd run to make a lay-up or catch a football. Running was always a means to an ends. I was a skeptic. I believed that no normal person ever runs for running. But then I started running. And then I changed my mind.
Don't look for me at the front of the pack tomorrow. I'm not running to win. I won't be running in the Kenyan group. As long as I finish, I'll be pleased. As long as my legs and heart outlast my mind and lungs, I'll consider it a good day (inspirational huh?).
Running a marathon has always been on that hypothetical "to-do" list. Yet until this summer, I hadn't made concrete plans to actually do it. I ran a half marathon about a year and a half ago but stuck the attempt at the full under the "someday" category and moved on. This summer, knowing that my travel schedule was light this fall, I decided I'd give it a go.
People ask how you train for a marathon. In my amateur opinion I believe you just need a good pair of shoes and time. Not everyone has the schedule, or will make the time, to go out on a Saturday morning and run for 3 hours. Often, I've gotten up early on Sunday and run before church. My legs still cramping up during communion.
Over the past 16 weeks, I have logged close to 300 miles. I ran 42 miles during one 5 day stretch in October. It has been one of the most physically demanding things I have ever done. The hardest run? 16 miles. I'm not sure why. Call it a wall I guess but after the 16 mile run I didn't leave the couch all day. The next week I did 20 and then went to a meeting at Starbucks. I don't get it.
Hopefully, it will all pay off tomorrow morning. I'll post tomorrow night or Monday and let you know how it goes. I've got to get my stuff together. Shoes, gloves, and 2 band-aids. I won't go into what those are for. If you don't run, it probably wouldn't make sense anyway.