One Sunday morning, five years ago, as I was driving to Hollywood, I saw a pack of marathoners steam down Crenshaw. As they crossed over the 10, their bodies filling the space cars usually dominate, I knew I wanted to run with them.
“Hey kids, look runners!”
Then I’m sure I handed somebody a graham cracker, turned up the Veggie Tales, and forgot about such a ridiculous idea as running a marathon.
But I always kept it as a hypothetical possibility.
Of course I had never run more than a mile or two. My time at the Y was more about a lonely transplant meeting other moms than actual exercising.
A few years and several gym memberships later, I realized that possessing a gym membership produced more guilt than pleasure. I just never made it inside the gym enough to justify the monthly expense. So I dropped it and promised myself I’d find less expensive means of exercise in our near-perfect weather climate. I started jogging, then running around our neighborhood park.
Over the years a few friends trained for the marathon, and I allowed myself to wonder if I could actually do it.
Then about a month ago I started training as if I were planning to run the marathon. That was a big step. I increased my morning runs. I made long weekend runs a priority. And then I actually registered for the marathon last week.
So you know this.
It has been a month since I started training, and I have had exhilarating top-of-the-world runs and near-death, crawling-back-to-my-car runs. And I have to say, I’m really glad I’m doing it. I still have 46 days of training to go.
I am learning something new every week. I just hope next week it’s not, “look
for cars!” Bad joke.
I think one of the biggest things I have learned so far is that it’s not nearly as much about huffing out the long run as being faithful to get up and go on the daily 60-minute morning runs.
It’s not just enduring the big events, but living out the every day, anyone-can-do routine. And that is why committing to running the marathon has had a ripple effect on my personal discipline and our family life this month. Our whole family is getting up earlier, studying more, eating better. I even started a blog, which means that I am writing more too.
I hope I’m still glad 47 days from now.