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.