Several years ago I got a little fed up with being pretty fat. It was one of those lightning-through-the-sky epiphany moments where I literally got up out of the recliner and walked a mile. Unfortunately, it was midnight and very cold outside and several neighbors apparently called the authorities, but the upside was it became an exercise habit. The exercise led to losing a few pounds, which led to eating better, which led to losing more weight, which led to actually starting to compete in sports.
Before I knew what had happened, I found myself crossing the finish line of my first marathon. And then my first triathlon. And then winning my first marathon. And then qualifying for Boston. And then finishing an Ironman 70.3 and even competing in the USAT National Championships.
Somewhere along the way, probably tucked in between two back-to-back twenty mile training runs or following a one hundred mile bike ride, I had another lightning-through-the-sky epiphany: this is really stupid.
So this year when I started taking my writing more seriously (which is grown-up talk for I started doing it every day for hours at a time after getting home from my real job) and I no longer had time for my DAILY fifteen miles of running, all of that exercise fell by the wayside. I needed something to motivate myself to lace up the ol’ joggers. I signed up for a half marathon with a few friends.
I remember being vaguely aware throughout the race that I didn’t have that far to run, and at one point I looked up and saw a big sign with the 9-Mile marker on it and I was actually very, very sad. I’d thought I was coming up on Mile 7 and I realized I’d daydreamed through two whole miles and missed them. I was only going to get to run four more miles instead of six and I was a little bit crushed.
And the greatest thing happened: at thirteen miles, I got to quit running! I finished the half marathon at what is usually the HALF WAY point of my races! I didn’t have to do it all over again! What kind of sadistic moron kept THAT a secret all these years??? No one ever told me I could run thirteen miles and then go sit down! I had never been so happy to finish a race.
So I’m pretty sure that for right now my days of long distance running are over. I don’t have the time to train like I should and quite frankly, I just don’t give a shit. When I no longer have to use those wasted hours between midnight and four to accomplish stuff, maybe I’ll take it up again. For now, I’m just not the kind of girl who goes all the way.
9 thoughts on “I Don’t Go All The Way”
Lorca… Lorca… Lorca…. What? We have to talk… on our next run.
Um, you should know, Wendy. I’ve heard a lot of rumors that you don’t go all the way either! Not even for a free car wash!!!
I ran my first half marathon in March and I plan on doing the same one this march. I SUCK though. I am just doing it to say I did it. I want to do a full someday but my feet almost fall off at 13 miles so I am pacing myself. (also means being lazy and not training like I should) But I guess once you’ve accomplished it…then what? Great post.
Exactly! That was my problem. Once I finished my goal of running a marathon, the REAL stupid set in.
I feel the same way about my puny 2.5 miles on the treadmill at the gym. I am happy to get there and even happier when the timer says “cool down starts now”. I keep going ’cause the results are so worth it. That is why I keep going back.
Good for you! Even in my prime, I’ve never been able to do more than two miles. My mind always quit out on me and I quit. I’m going to work out tomorrow damn it!
That was actually one of my biggest hurdles. My legs were all ready to go fifteen miles and my brain is thinking, “But WHHHHYYYYYYY? We could be at home right now! We could be watching TV or reading a book or curing cancer or doing the dishes or…” I called it Exercise A.D.D.
Lorca, I love your writing. I wish I had half the energy you do. I’d be glad to be a gal who goes a quarter of the way, don’t know that I’d ever go all the way but I dream of it. Thanks for sharing these insights into your life and thought processes.
Woohoo! My own cheering section! Which is really good because when I go to races where they print your first name on your bib number and people starting yelling, “Looking good, Lorca!” I tend to freak out a little bit. I don’t like the feeling of being watched and I’m pretty sure the government v-chip is the only reason those people know my name. I forget that it’s safetypinned to the front of my shirt. Then I get a little ninja at them…