Tomorrow I run 9 miles. Today I go to the gym to cross train and strengthen muscles especially around my knees. My house needs a really good cleaning but I’m not letting that, or anything else interfere with these last days of training. Next Saturday (March 19th) is the last long run day with 10 miles. It is exhilarating to know that I am that close to race day. Once again, my toe nail on my left foot has turned black from bruising. I told Jim that must be my badge of honor for running. Last year it took about 6 months to disappear. However, the swelled look around my ankles that was only noticeable to me (thus far) but a regular reminder of my weight gain prior to this training, has been replaced these last couple of months with the more youthful and narrow looking ankles I remember from earlier days.
I’ve been asked by friends and co-workers, why I would do this again…why put yourself through it???
For me, it’s achieving a dream of being that runner I always wanted to be but for one reason or another – wasn’t. Up until I was 30 I smoked, then quit and gained 35 pounds. I carried that extra weight for a few years. Then in 94, I lost it and brought my body fat down to 18% (which for women is actually considered too low now). After reaching my mid 40’s my body has changed – and moreover – each year it gets harder to try to reach back for that more fit and athletic look that I had in my 30’s. I guess this is my way of fighting back age and not giving into the life-sucking anxiety and daily aches and pains of such. I work for a charity and worries about money, the economy and the effects of such are a daily struggle and my job???…to raise a significant portion of such. This half marathon training is an escape from all of that – something so completely different but that requires every bit of focus and physical strength I’ve got.
It is inherent in me to always want to achieve more and as I am now approaching 50, my mortality causes me to want to reach higher and farther than ever before. I finished the race last year – this year though, I want to finish at a runners pace of under 3 hours. Who knows, next year or the year after…maybe it will be the full marathon. It is proving to myself once again that I can do anything if I set my mind to it and just do it…