Last week, I did something crazy. I signed up for my first half marathon.
I know, I know, I’ve already done more than 13.2 miles so I shouldn’t be freaking out over it. I will anyway because, as I’ve said, I am not a runner. Running for more than a couple miles on open road with no breaks to carry a bucket of rocks or lug a weighted sled through an over-sized fire pit is long and tedious and tiring. I don’t catch that “runner’s high” that those “I run 6 miles before breakfast everyday” people get. I get bored and go home and eat a cookie. Cookie-eating, no matter how quickly it is done, is not good enough cardio to help me better my performance at OCRs.
I signed up for this half marathon, in particular, in hopes that it will give me the kick in the pants to actually start running on a more regular basis. I’ve been a lump lately and that needed to change. I thought that signing up for GORUCK would force me out of my slump, but no. Apparently, the lazy person in my brain won in the fight against the spendthrift who doesn’t want to waste registration fees and hotel stays on a failed event. This half marathon is going to give my inner Scrooge McDuck a leg up in the next round, because this run is in Disney World.
I signed up for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Half Marathon with 3 friends (including a Mama on the Run and some weird chick who thinks even her furniture needs footwear.) We are going to spend the weekend in Epcot in a nice resort, and run a half marathon between cocktails. I’m probably looking at about 1000 smackers that will go down the toilet if I screw up on this one. I will also be looking at 3 other Mamas with just as much in their busy lives, if not more, who ARE getting it done. No excuses.
Sunday, I officially kicked off my running regimen. I promised myself I will run at least 3 times a week. I ran on Sunday. Then I ran on Monday- 2 miles with one of the Mamas and then another 1.17 alone (woo-hoo! a 5K!)
Then a bomb went off. Then another, just as I was coming back from my run. The headlines and images I found on my computer screen set off another (metaphoric) bomb in my head. Just as suddenly as the callous actions of a madman changed the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of people, I realized that I AM a runner. Those were my friends and my community that were hit by those blasts of shrapnel. The bombings at the Boston Marathon hit far too close to home leaving me to imagine if that had happened as a crossed the Beast finish line, or even worse, hitting the sidelines of the Tuxedo Sprint where my mother, father, and little X were laughing while watching me flop at the spear toss.
We may throw jokes back and forth but, OCR runners and road runners are not all that different (except maybe in the amount of rocks and twigs found in their washing machines after an event.) We both do things that most people wouldn’t dare do. We both give up time with our families to be out training in sunshine or rain or blizzard. We both have more fun shopping for moisture-wicking shorts and compression socks than for slinky dresses and strappy sandals. We both push ourselves further and further each day until we finally reach our goal, and then promptly make a new goal further out.
I may not do 6 miles before breakfast. I definitely don’t look graceful on the road and I’m not even remotely fast. I take walk breaks during my runs, but I AM a runner. So Tuesday, virtually along with a whole hell of a lot of Run Junkees, I went for a run wearing this bib:
to show support for my fellow runners and their friends and family who were out there supporting them. I ran 2.62 miles.
I ran again on Wednesday and have a 5K on Saturday. I’ve already surpassed my self-imposed quota for the week. Was it the half marathon or Boston or just something that has changed in me head about running, or maybe its just because it’s the first week and I’ll drop off again? I don’t know, I just hope I can keep it up for the Mamas, for my checking account, and for all the people who can’t run anymore.