As someone who dreaded running The Mile in gym class every year, who was lapped on the track by the fast kids while limping along with a sideache most of the time, I must admit that even I am surprised by the following statement:
I ran seven miles the other day.
And I didn’t even feel like dying.
Something I didn’t talk about in this space last year was my decision to run a half marathon. The local marathon has gotten great reviews, on a national level, in the last couple of years and so many people in this town have started running it. On Sunday mornings from March to July, the streets and trails are teeming with people in various Lycra/DriFIT/whatever ensembles, huffing and puffing or flying by, either with iPods in place or Galloway run/walk timers clipped to their belts. There are slow and fast, fit and fat, experienced runners and newbies out there, pushing themselves when it would be easy to be doing something else. Anything else.
Last year I got about six weeks into a training class when my lingering shin pain became worrisome. I saw a doc, who directed me to a physical therapist, who told me the pain wasn’t going to get any better without a fair amount of work (and, though he didn’t say this at the time, seemingly endless exercise printouts with photos of people in weird 90s exercise clothes and awkward positions). My half marathon goal wasn’t going to be reached, not last year. And that sucked, since it seemed like everyone in this town was running, training, talking about it all of the time. I don’t like announcing goals I can’t meet.
So I moved on. And I did a lot of PT, for months and months. Some strange realignment techniques involving my grip and my teeth, among other things. Lots of walking backward up stairs and trying not to fall on my ass. Various contortions involving stretchy bands and Kegels while blowing up balloons. No, really.
And I ran seven miles on Sunday with my running buddy with pretty minimal discomfort. Finally.
I leave on Monday for Europe, and I’m not too sure how the running plan is going to work there. I’ll run eight miles before heading out of town on Saturday. And ten the weekend I get back.
Only one week later, July 8, boom. 13.1.
Wish me luck.