My boss brought his boys out to our office last week. He had been explaining to them on the ride over that I was running a 10K road race the next day. The boys had only two questions for him:
1. How far is 10K?
2. Why does he want to run that far?
When I told them “if you think that’s a long way, wait until October when I run a marathon. It will be a 10K plus 20 miles”, I don’t think that they really believed me.
While there is really only one right answer to question number one, the answer to number two can be very personal. For me, I can think of only one answer: Because I can.
Two years ago, the only marathons that I enjoyed involved Spike TV and James Bond movies. I didn’t even watch the summer Olympics. When the Olympics were held in Atlanta, I didn’t want to go see anything. I enjoyed the outdoors, if I was sitting in the shade.
Today, I watch every track and field event that is televised. I read books about the history of the sport, the heroes of the sport, and how to improve at the sport. I run 15-20 miles a week and am always looking to improve. My diet has changed. I have had to replace most of my wardrobe. I have a drawer in my dresser for “running stuff”. I have lost about 45 pounds and I am in the best physical shape of my life.
So why do I want to run a marathon? “Because I can” really is the answer. Because I feel like I am on a path that will lead to improved health and better enjoyment of life for me and my entire family. Because in my family, the men haven’t faired very well in later years, many dying prematurely from illness or disease. Because I want to give myself a chance.
So this week, I start my official marathon training. 16 weeks to go. There is something different about being inside of the training window. It just feels different. We will see if that lasts….
Monday was my first gym day. I can’t remember the last time that I was in the gym for 60 minutes, or the last time that I was in the gym and didn’t even touch a treadmill. My workout for Monday:
20 minutes on the exercise bike.
25 minutes weightlifting/circuit training.
12 minutes on the elliptical.
My plan is to hit the gym for an hour three times a week, doing similar workouts. When I tried cross-training before, I quit because my running distance and pace suffered due to sore muscles. I realize that I have to trust the plan and do the work and eventually, my muscles will become stronger and give me the ability to run even further and faster than before.
Here’s to all of you who are doing things that you (or anybody else) never thought that you could. You know who you are.
And you know that you can.
Have you ever attempted anything that most people around you thought was either crazy or a mistake? Did you accomplish your goal?