This last weekend, I sat down with a man who mentored my brother as he trained for OKC and, among a number of topics, I asked him, "Are you still running?" He said, "j3, I can't. Not with my back. It's in such bad shape." I came clean with him saying that I had considered running a marathon. I guess I just threw it out there to see if it was met with laughs or with a studious headnod. Sam told me, "The human body is not meant to run 26 miles. It's not." Well, that was my starting point.
If you asked me two nights ago, I would say that the human body isn't meant to run two miles either. Leaving work promptly at 5:15 and on the trail at 5:30 (with 95-degree heat), I officially began my training. I tell you, 32 years of not treating my body like I should hit me like a ton of bricks that night. I struggled as I got to the third mile and my legs just stopped working. So I walked. I rounded a corner and started again. I probably completed 2.25 miles in a run and .75 in a walk. I guess walking to work almost everyday for the last four years did very little for endurance. Makes me wonder what it did achieve. Maybe nothing. It certainly didn't benefit me in long-run training. I wouldn't dramatize it to say it was the hardest thing I've ever done. I mean, I've done two miles before, but maybe I was just picking the best and coolest hour to do it. Maybe I was a tad lighter. Maybe I was just having a good day.
The goal is to get to a steady three miles on each run at which point I can start the training under the close guidance of what will become my running bible for the next 20+ weeks, The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer. Once you make it to a steady three, the training plan will begin adding miles each week for 16 weeks until, ultimately, you find yourself at the starting line of a 26-mile trek which it requires you to go ahead and pick now and mark on the calendar. My marathon of choice? Well, it came down to Tulsa and Dallas White Rock. I suppose because I'm a Texas boy, I chose White Rock in Dallas. My D-Day is December 13th.
As word made it through Facebook, I had a few people come up to me with both words of encouragement and some with disbelief as they scanned my frame from top to bottom simply asking, "You?" Mo mentioned that she, too, was training for a marathon. Cherie just finished a marathon. Kristi told me she was a runner in high school and had completed a triathalon and would never do it again. Kool Aid said he used to run for a team in college and would like to train with me. It's like I stepped into a counter culture of runners. Me, the new kid.
It really feels like I don't know what I'm doing. I imagine it's like riding a bike. Each day you go a little further until you can do it (relatively) effortlessly. Is my posture right? Is my stride adequate? How much water should I drink? Is there anyway around eating bananas? Do I need to go get another pair of shoes or will my Newbies suffice? Lots of questions that I'll answer in my quest for the steady three.
Kool Aid said he's in for training, but gave me a half-ass answer on the actual marathon stating that he would like to get running again and this would give him a chance to do that and get back in shape. I figure if we train up to 18 miles, you might as well commit to a marathon. I can't think of any other reason to run 18 miles except to eventually run 26. But Kool Aid's an athlete. He plays soccer and likes lacrosse--two sports that require quite a bit of running. I like skiing which really just requires you to put long planks on your feet and let gravity do the rest.
Either way, this is the announcement. I'm doing a marathon. Team Root Down with a team of one.
Entertain yourself today and watch these "Republican rappers." They're mad hot. Oh, and Huckabee, Russell Simmons is not a rapper. He's black, yes, but not a rapper. Maybe the distinction that all black people don't rap is tough for the conservative mind to make. Not sure.
Don't do drugs and stay in school.