Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Mantra

Miles run today: 1.89 in 20 minutes, 45 seconds

Current Book: Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Listening to: The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga

I have heard that all runners eventually develop a mantra that they say over and over in their heads as they run. I have heard a lot about running. Five years ago, when my husband completed his first Chicago Marathon, I agreed that I would do one. I set the date as 2011, because I thought that by then my kids would be old enough to leave at home, without a babysitter, for a half hour, or even an hour while I trained. They will be in eighth grade and sixth grade in the fall of 2011. We even signed a contract, which was witnessed by my son, who was 6 at the time, agreeing that I would do the marathon. Obviously, I can get out of the contract by claiming a lack of consideration. I might also throw in that a minor cannot act as a witness. Of course, contracts like this do not truly require witnesses, a fact that my husband may not know, so I may be able to snow him on that one. Anyhow, after several years of my husband complaining that 2011 was too far away, and with some of my friends agreeing that they would do the marathon with me, I moved my target date up to 2010. In 2010 I will turn 40, and running a marathon seems like an appropriate thing to do in a milestone birthday year.

So, I started my "training" in April of 2009. I think that is probably giving myself too much training time, but as a person who does not normally run at all, I may need it. My target was to be able to run a 5K by the second week in June, or roughly 8 weeks after I started training. I finally got to a 5K distance (3.1 miles) in the end of August. All through April, May, June, July and August I was running. I just couldn't get my act together to go 3.1 miles. There are a gazillion excuses (can't leave the kids home alone, racing a Port Huron to Mackinac sailboat race, being over committed in general, being on vacation, the list goes on and on), but the long and short is that it took me 5 months to get up to running 3.1 miles. At this rate, I am actually training for the 2015 Chicago Marathon. And so, the mantra that creeps through my head step after very slow step is this: I am so not a runner.

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