Thursday, May 27, 2010

twentysix.two miles

I may as well tell you now, before I get the chance to change my mind or wimp out or twist my ankle on purpose. I have agreed, and am prematurely excited, to run a marathon in October. Yes, a marathon. This October. Five months from now (that sound you hear is my brain struggling to do training math).

My Aunt and I were watching the Biggest Loser finale on Tuesday, and as we were eating dinner beforehand we got onto the topic of running, running accomplishments, and the fate of our favorite contestants on the show. In the episode before the finale, as they do every year, the final four completed a marathon. For those of you that don't watch the Biggest Loser, you should know that all of these people start the show as incredibly sick, intensely overweight individuals. By the time the season is over (approx. 6months), they are usually all athletes of some kind. In the case of the final four, they run a marathon at season's end.

As I was running the Sun Run at the beginning of the month, I kept thinking about Michael, one of my favorite contestants. This guy started the show as the biggest contestant ever: a whopping 526 pounds. While he was still at well over 300lbs, he ran 5k on a treadmill. That was the episode I watched right before I ran the Sun Run (10k), and as you can imagine, I pictured Michael's run the entire time I ran through the streets of Vancouver. "If Michael can run 5k, surely I can run 10." I was completely inspired, as I am every year, only this year I was inspired to actually become healthier as a result of watching these people get their lives back.

Something about this season got to my heart, even moreso than usual. Maybe it was because my favorite three contestants from day one ended up being the final three at the end. Daris, Ashley, and Michael were instantly loveable, each for their own reasons, and as the season drew on, they grew on me. Every accomplishment they made sent me reaching for the tissue box. Every time I actually got my butt out the door to go for a run, I pictured my favorite contestants doing the same for extra motivation. It worked: I, the slightly athsmatic non-athlete, ran 10k a few weeks ago.

The conversation with my aunt turned in a similar direction as we decided that if these contestants could run as far as they had (a full marathon, etc) in the shape they were in, then surely we could do it too. Running a marathon is a bit of a lofty goal, I admit, and it's something I am both excited and petrified to attempt. My aunt is a little nervous too I think, but oddly enough we are both pretty excited as well! Something about goal setting lights a fire in my belly. What I've found with running is that I'm better at it than I thought I was, and more able to complete my goals than I thought I was - which is a delight and a surprise and a motivator all in one. Maybe I'll actually cross that October finish line and still be alive? Time will tell!

To prep, we're running a 10k together in July, a half-marathon together in September, and then the Full in October.

As I'm running in fall (and up to it), I will no doubt be thinking of my friend Daris, who ran this season's marathon in 4hrs 2 minutes. That's the time I'm hoping to match - stay tuned as summer continues to find out where I'm at with this. Perhaps, along the way, you will have some health goals of your own to accomplish? I'd love to hear how you're doing, or have you join me in training for something that's slightly out of your reach, too. And hey, I'm always happy to have a running buddy :)

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Wow, you are brave! For a while I thought I would run a marathon one day, but now I'm not so sure. I've heard they're bad for you. Half-marathons, on the other hand, are supposed to be okay.

Nevertheless, kudos to you!