Getting the marshmallows from my chest

Over the summer I ran exactly once. I somehow pulled ten miles out of who-knows-where on an absolutely beautiful day. I ran in just a sports bra and a pair of shorts, and everyone I’ve not seen in at least a year seemed to see me and my naked belly that day. It was a little embarrassing, but if I was going to do only one outdoor run all summer long, that was a good one.

Lifting weights hasn’t been nearly as fun since my gym closed, so I figured throwing running back in would keep me from getting a bigger butt. I went out the other day for a pitiful 1.37 miles (accuracy brought to you by this very cool online pedometer), only to find myself thankful for stoplights. Nearly twenty minutes later, with my chest on fire, I collapsed into my condo, vowing not to let my cardiovascular strength be so pathetic.

I went online to a race finder, vowing to run something substantial that’s still several months away.

I could have just registered for a simple half-marathon and called it a day, but there’s no challenge in that. I ran Nashville’s half without issue after drinking 12 beers and staying out all night long. I ran the Flying Pig half the following weekend with an awful allergy attack and vertigo on all bridges crossed or altitudes changed. Now, if I can do it while drunk or while clinging to a guardrail, there’s nothing left to prove. Halves are nothing.

Now, I’ve done a few marathons. I can’t say I really like them. Having never fully trained for one, I’ve always blamed that on my sub-par performance and overall distaste. Sure, I’ve always wondered how well I could actually do, rather than the lazy meandering I’ve always done. But that involves time, effort, and discipline.

Those three qualities are lacking when it comes to much of my life. If it comes easily, pays a substantial reward, and doesn’t cut into my fun, I’m all for it. (Read: real estate.) But what am I going to get from running a marathon? My butt will be a little smaller, I suppose. My cardiovascular health will improve, sure…

Okay, that’s all I’ve got.

Don’t get all hokey on me and talk about amazing accomplishments. Unless I’m winning the damn thing (and I’m not), it’s hardly an accomplishment. So I ran 26.2 miles. Big whoop. I promise that most of you out there could walk and run one in under the amount of time given by the race coordinators.

I was staring at the online race calendar, and I bit the bullet and chose something mid-February that’s the full daunting distance.

Knowing that merely shelling out $50 wasn’t going to be enough to keep me running day after day, I got on IM and recruited a friend to run with me. It only took twenty minutes of back and forth, and we’re now signed up for a race that’s 45 miles from my brother’s house, run 100% in the sand, and contains no one under 30 who seems to give a crap, making it so we’ll both place in our age group, barring any serious malfunction.

Easy to get to. Somewhere interesting. And with a reward at the end.

Now we’re talkin’.

Here’s to five months of sucking wind with hopes that the reward will be worth it.


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