Marathon Monday is three short days away. I’ve got to admit this is something I followed with mild interest when I lived in New York and St. Louis, but since moving to Boston I’ve become much more engaged. The race runs right past my house. At that point the runners are on their last mile. As someone who has run a couple marathons I know what that last mile is like – grueling an yet exciting. You see that 25-mile marker and can’t help but think I’m almost done with this whole wretched inspiring experience. Thank God!! At that point you are also running along, legs in pain, feet a mess of blisters and thinking I am never EVER doing this again. That mind-set immediately alters when you cross that finish line and realize that this was the single hardest thing you’ve ever done and you conquered it! Shock and awe sets in, followed by a giddy sense of accomplishment and joy. You just ran 26.2 freakin miles.
Ok, I’m sure the elite runners don’t feel that same euphoria but for us normal human beings who train like hell while holding down jobs while keeping up with family and friends, sleeping, eating, resting, etc.. completing is amazing!
I haven’t always been a runner. In fact while in high school and college I couldn’t run a mile. I had a roommate who would be zipping along on the treadmill and I’d be on the machine next to her heaving at half her speed. So not good! Then when I graduated and moved to New York I knew something had to be done about the weight I had gained. I started walking home from work in heels. The 40 minute walk from Times Square to my upper eastside pad was just the beginning. I started running around the reservoir in Central Park – well more like slow jogging with long patches of walking. But each time I challenged myself to run at least a few steps further before walking than I had run the day before.
When I moved to St. Louis I took a leap of faith, signed up for the Chicago marathon and started running nearly daily. It became an obsession and a huge stress reliever. I lost weight, toned muscle, dropped a few sizes and felt better about myself. After that first race I was committed to running. I ran the St. Louis half marathon while I lived there and then the Providence, RI half when I moved up here to Boston. Since living on the East coast again, my running has tapered off significantly. The demands of my job have made frequent runs an impossibility. But what I do find is that after several years of running and being more health-minded I still have a high base of fitness. Now I can run 5 miles even if I haven’t run in a several weeks. They aren’t record breaking speeds but I am able to run at a pretty steady pace.
I’m hoping now that the weather is nicer that I can make more of a concerted effort to run at least 5 times a week and maybe in a month or two I”ll sign up to run another marathon. Mondays Boston Marathon is certainly going to be an incentive to hit the trails again.