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i would run [20] miles…i would run [6.2] more

5 October 2009

I just got an email with the subject:
“Six days to go until the Bank of America Chicago Marathon”

In six days I will run a marathon.
Sunday morning I kept telling myself: “in a week. in exactly a week.” This was true from about 7:30 to about 12:30…

I’m filling my brain with pre-race preparation. Reading my participant guide. Making notes. Race-week tips online and in magazines. Filling my body with carbs and water. (plus zinc tabs and orange juice thanks to pre-race-sickness paranoia.)

I don’t really know how to describe how I feel. It all feels a little unreal—as it should, since I am in fact about to do something I’ve never done before.

It’s like the feelings i had the week before skydiving; I was feeling excited but also a little undefined. (until, that is, the night right before where i had a sudden, paralyzing grip of fear: I am going to jump out of a plane… and I could feel my stomach fall, like it does at the crest of a roller coaster hill.)

Lucky for me, my paranoia was wrong. Skydiving felt like nothing I could’ve imagined. Better. Nothing like what I feared. And like nothing i’ve felt since.

So thats how I approach this big day. This Big Race, as i’ve called it for months now. (in fact, it was 10 months ago tomorrow that i first had this crazy idea. Sitting in memphis, sorting through my 1/2 marathon packet, thinking: is this something I could really do?!)

And I’m about to do it.
The closest I’ve come is my 20-miler (believe it!) which I survived over the course of 3.5 hours on Thursday, Sept. 24. (mid-run thought: i’m running for an entire extended-cut Lord of the Rings movie…) I’ve meant to blog about it since then (i wrote that night, of course), but life has been getting in the way.

Like it do.

And that, my friends, is another reason why I am a runner. (in spite of the stress and the sweat and the self-consciousness and the time spent and the soreness). Running for me is a time (a half-hour here, an hour there, and 5 hours ultimately) when I can turn off everything else in my life. Where I’m just doing this one thing I truly enjoy. where I’m experiencing my thoughts and the passing of time as they come, just as they are.

For most people I talk to, the idea of running a marathon is tortuous. For me, it’s exciting.
And it’s also just something I’m going to do. It feels natural by now. Simple. I’m going to do it. (And according to Runner’s World’s website, I’ll be one of 0.1% of Americans who can say the same.)

So I’m nervous, and a little unsure how to feel, but I know I can do it.

Just found an inspiring story of a blind runner who will have 100 volunteers helping him along the way. if this guy can do it, I can too.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    6 October 2009 12:50 pm

    I’ve been thinking more about skydiving lately.

    And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You. Are. Amazing.

  2. maike permalink
    7 October 2009 8:03 am

    Dude.. you are inspiring. I don’t even want to drive 20 miles, much less run [or in my case it would be “walk”:] 20 miles.

    You are going to do fabulously awesome on Sunday!

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