Friday, August 27, 2010
I hit the send button and immediately thought “oh *#@+!”. 26.2 miles was never ever something I aspired to. My dad had done it many times and I always admired his discipline but secretly thought he was a crazed man! Dad is a machine with joints of steel and a mind set to complete a goal with only the occasional break for his one weakness – Smokehouse almonds and a fine box of wine.
The last number of months of training have had me both “begging for mercy” and at other times singing “let’s get this party started”. I read about ultra runners who barely break a sweat the first 26.2 miles on their way to 100 miles! Who are these people? Training with the Portland Marathon Training group has made it clear that people of all shapes, sizes and ages are adept at pounding out miles. A lot of people are pushing themselves to new limits.
The thing I like about extended distance training is that at some point it will expose my weakness. There is no faking lack of fitness, sustained pain, overheating or dehydration. Saying “yes” and pushing the boundaries of comfort has been both humbling and encouraging. Doing it with others who are pushing their own limits creates a scenario where there is mutual respect and understanding. There is something admirable about these runners who willingly risk exposing their weakness.
Saying “yes” has set me on a journey that in many ways is greater than the event I am training for. It’s a huge investment of time and energy but it has been worth it.
Speaking of journeys that started with saying “yes”, today my wife and I celebrate 27 years of marriage. Jean I love you and I so value the road we have traveled and the plans for new memories ahead. Thanks for being patient with my recent long runs and even longer recovery periods on the weekends. You rock.