So at this point, I’ve done three 31-minute runs. They no longer fill me with the heady success my first one did, which makes sense, as I know they’ve got to move from what they are now (my maximum accomplishment) to what they must be in the context of my training (a minimum…even a warm-up). For my first few weeks of my 16-week training program, 3-milers (which 31 minutes doesn’t even net me now) will be my base run…my twice-a-week short run. For the next few, they’ll be a mile short of my shortest run. Now that I’ve done three of them, running every other day, I have to set a new goal for tomorrow and the week to come. Do I go for a longer run period, or start trying to pace, and see if I can get farther in the same time frame?
My friend Michelle sent me this link the other day…I love the mantras it lists near the bottom of the page. Some of my favorites:
- If an 80 year old can do this, then so can I.
- I love that I can do this.
- I am living creatively/intentionally.
Maybe that third one (combo) is my favorite. Sometimes it’s hard to see myself as a go-getter, or as someone who (as my marathon cousin said last week) “jumps on a challenge like a pit bull on a pork chop.” But once I really start this training, and God willing, dedicate to it and keep up with it, there’ll be no denying that I truly am living intentionally. There will be no excuse for me not to believe that. There’s no other way to explain someone who undertakes something grueling like this, simply for the sake of accomplishing it. Running this marathon won’t change anyone else’s life…in the end, it will only matter to me. I can hope that along the way, it inspires others…and since it’s sponsored by St. Jude, I hope that my entrance fee and any money I may raise for them will help fund research and/or treatment for a child with a terminal illness…but when the sun sets on December 4th, I’ll have done this for myself. I will have accepted a challenge for no other reason than to prove to myself that I can do it.
The testimonials of my marathon friends and the people in the NRMT book attest to this…that once they finished the marathon, they knew there was nothing else in life they couldn’t accomplish. And the bios – the height/weight, age, running background – of the people in the original University of Iowa class…well, some of those folks were in far worse shape than I. So what could keep me from achieving the same goal? They said their whole outlook on themselves and their potential changed. I want to know what that shift in state-of-mind feels like.
Anyway. I’m still a mere 10% of the way there. Not even, as my pastor pointed out (“No…we runners are sticklers,” he stated firmly, pointing out that 2.59 – my current long distance for 31 minutes – is not 2.62. [dammit…]), crushing my fragile optimism with a barely concealed grin and a twinkle in his eye.
Grr. All right. So be it.
Tomorrow, if I can make it past the 7-Eleven to Kevin Walker Dr., it’ll be 2.62. If I can make it back to Ashgrove Dr., I’ll have 2.88. And if I get all the way past the azalea bushes on the corner of Cove Lane, I’ll make an even 3 miles.
You know…24 days ago, on July 28, my longest-ever sustained run was ten minutes. Probably not quite one mile.
Lisa was right. It’s a given.