So… ummm…. yeah…
I’m planning on running a marathon in December.
I have no idea what has gotten into me and why on earth I’d attempt such a thing.
I don’t consider myself a runner.
Don’t get me wrong. I do run. It’s just that I’m a super S-L-O-W runner. In the past, I’ve participated in races where walkers passed me up with ease. In my head, walkers don’t pass real runners.
Oh the shame.
Do I run? Yes.
Am I a runner? I’m not so sure.
Runner or not, I’m all signed up to run the Dallas Marathon this coming December.
As if running a marathon isn’t enough, now I have to actually train for it.
Every week I have a schedule that tells me how long and how far I’m supposed to run so that I can prepare my body for the torture of running for 26.2 miles on December 14th, 2014.
And so I run.
Most mornings, I don my fitted Walmart or Target capris, a solid sports bra (imperative), T-shirt, socks, and running shoes, and head outside to get those miles in. I stuff earbuds into my ears, open up my running apps (I’m a bit OCD so I have a few), start up iTunes or Spotify, start the heart rate monitor and start moving.
Sidebar: Yea… I know that’s a whole lot going on but ya’ll I have to do what I have to do to get through the run.
Most mornings, I run by myself. I run safely tucked away on the shoulder of my little residential road, facing oncoming traffic, and make it my business to stay alert to my surroundings.
Most mornings, I finish my run and feel quiet accomplished – satisfied with the sacrifice of my time and effort and encouraged a bit by the calories I’ve burned.
But some mornings, I run with others.
I’ve connected with a local running club and when I can gather my druthers, I leave my home at 4:30 a.m. to join them. I meet up with an eclectic group of runners who remind me that I’m not the only nutty person who wants to get in miles before many people get out of their beds.
We typically pair up with someone that approximates our normal running pace. This provides a modicum of safety as we run in the dark and also some company should the runners decide to engage in some conversation.
Normally, I don’t talk.
It’s been all I can do to just breathe and stay alive during a run.
But on one particular morning, I showed up for an early group run and paired up with a woman named Linnette. Linnette ran just a little faster than my typical pace, and I found myself working a bit harder than normal to keep up with her.
I was breathing hard.
And Linnette liked to talk.
Side note: I hate when I’m working out with someone and it is very obvious to me and probably to them that I’m having to work really hard to keep up. It’s just doesn’t feel good to be huffing and puffing while your workout partner glistens effortlessly.
So I’m running next to her and she’s just talking away and I’m trying to carefully calculate how to give brief and appropriate responses while still staying alive. Not only did I want to be polite and respond, but I wanted to ask appropriate questions. After all she was asking me questions and I didn’t want to tell her all about me and not appear interested in her.
It’s not that I wasn’t interested in her, I just was also interested in remaining in the land of the living.
So when she asked me about my family and I answered, I then asked her about her family.
When she asked me about what I did for a living, I answered. Then I asked her about her job.
When she asked me about my reason for running, I answered by telling her that I was training for a half-marathon. Apparently last spring I was only half crazy.
Then I asked her about her reason for running.
First Linnette told me that she wasn’t running to prepare for a race. I was floored. We were running six miles that day. I had no idea that normal people go out to run six miles just for general fitness sake. At most, I thought normal, fit, healthy runner people go out for a 2-3 mile run. FIVE miles if they are really trying to do it.
And then Linnette told me about another motivation she had for running.
It’s been months since that run but what my new friend shared with me I’ve since not been able to shake.
To read Part II… CLICK HERE