Some city in Greece…I think it’s called Marathon?

In an earlier post I alluded to my inability to commit to The Big Race. For me, The Big Race (by the way, when you read that, you should be hearing one of those ominous radio echoes repeating “The Big Race”, just for effect 🙂 ), is the marathon.

I’ve been thinking about running a marathon for a while. I’m not sure why. The idea of running the distance (42 km/26 mi) doesn’t appeal to me. The idea of running for four hours (give or take — probably give at this point) doesn’t appeal to me. I think the appeal is in being able to say I’ve done it. I’m not looking for bragging rights; it’s more like crossing it off a list of things you’ve accomplished. When you think about it, that’s not a driving motivator to run 42 km. Now you know why I’ve been thinking about this since June 2010 and haven’t done anything about it.

Recently, my employment contract came to an end and spending 4-6 hours/day looking for work started to take it’s toll. I was still running, but without any direction. Also, living in the Great White North and not owning a treadmill, I found myself challenged to get out and run in inhospitable weather conditions. I needed purpose. I needed something to plan/organize for. It was the perfect breeding ground for the inspiration to enter The Big Race.

It started easily enough: find a training plan. I like Hal Higdon’s plans. I’ve used a few in the past and been very successful. Next: start training. Easy enough. I started running with some purpose and regularity in January. My sights were set on the Ottawa Marathon at the end of May. Lots of time! So, I ran. And I ran. I wobbled a bit in February (weather!) and was reduced to spending time on our elliptical machine. I got back on track. Suddenly, it’s Go time: time to start following the training plan, with 16 weeks to go until Race Day. The training started and it was a cinch! Weather was in my favour and if it wasn’t, I pushed through knowing I had a goal to reach and a training session to cross off my calendar. And then it happened. People I know who are also running the race started asking me when I was going to register for the race. I was hesitant to register, fearing my training would be sidelined by injury (remember that knee injury from soccer and that long road to recover in Sept/Oct?) or weather. I planned on waiting until the end of February to sign up for the race, thinking I would have a good idea of my fitness and my commitment levels at that time.

I started receiving emails with the subject line “Race 50% sold out”, “Race 55% sold out” and “Have you registered yet?”. I ran from these emails like a indebted person runs from the debt collector. My motto became “duck and weave, duck and weave” in an attempt to avoid commitment. Then it struck me: I was afraid. I was afraid to mentally commit to The Big Race. I had physically committed myself but my brain wasn’t sure it could cash the cheques my body was writing (Yes, that’s a nod to Top Gun). The realization surprised me. I’ve never been hesitant about a race before. I mulled that over for a day or so and then plunged right in and registered for the race. Suddenly, it became very real. I am going to run a Marathon. Wow…

So far, so good. I ran 19.5 km last weekend and that’s the longest I’ve ever run, which is quite an accomplishment in and of itself. It’s been tough to get out this week (sitting here right now when I should be running 10K) as I’m dealing with March Break and sick kids but I’ll find the time because I am going to run a Marathon.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: