My Running History, Chapter 7
It wasn't really a goal of mine; it was more of an "out there" hero-status mythical kind of thing. Kind of like playing guitar. I'd always wanted to do it, but I'd never done it. And I couldn't until I took lessons. But I'm getting off track. It was the "out there" pinnacle of running, but (to be really honest) I had never even thought of doing it.
Until Rob did.
Rob is one of my closest friends, and every year at our conference for church, Rob and I would run together. We used to just run up and down the lake path and out the pier. Rob is an athlete (has always been), but I was in better shape than he was. After all, I was a "runner" (meaning, I think, that a few times a week I'd hit the road for a three miler). This was when three miles was long distance, mind you.
Then Rob ran a marathon.
I was instantly jealous (and, to be honest, quite a bit conceited and arrogant). If Rob could run one, I sure could. So I made good friends with Hal Higdon, signed up for the Columbus Marathon, and began training for a marathon (no, I don't know the real Hal Higdon, but I sure used his marathon training guide religiously!).
During my marathon training, I still didn't have a running partner, so I was running these four, five, eight, twenty mile runs by myself. I was running five days every week (one day I would rest and one day I would play soccer for two hours). My favorite moment in training was in week 14, when my long run was 12 miles. This was Higdon's quote:
Run 12 miles. Did you believe when you started this program there would come a day when we would tell you to go that distance, and you'd think, "Oh, an easy day." It all depends on your point of view.
During my training, I ran my first trail race, the 2006 Hocking Hills Indian Run... 40K race. It was humbling and amazing. I was humbled by Steel Hill, which I realized I was going to have to walk if I wanted to finish. I was humbled by the long uphill to the finish line, where I had to walk again. It was the longest I'd ever run at one time, and I finished!
I cruised for the next month and then I ran the Columbus Marathon. From running 3 miles a day to finishing a 26.2 run - what a difference!
Running a marathon changed my perspective on running tremendously. But further thoughts will have to wait until chapter 8.