I’ve been holding out on you guys. I’ve had a big announcement to make, but I didn’t make it and didn’t even create a preamble that would lead you to believe that I had a big announcement to make because I thought that I’d eventually come to my senses and didn’t want to be answering questions about the big announcement that was not to be. The time has come, though, to let you in on my dirty little secret: I have decided to train for a marathon.
You are probably wondering, as you have every right to wonder, why? I’m afraid I can’t give you a really good answer. I wasn’t possessed by the spirit of goodwill to run in honor of some charitable organization, I didn’t lose a bet, and I most certainly did not, suddenly, become a speedy and graceful runner. Honestly, I received an email with the subject line “Are you a runner?” thought to myself “Nope,” opened it anyway, and, instead of deleting it, forwarded it to Don, who, upon receiving it, incredulously asked “You want to run a marathon????” to which I replied “Ummmm, no. Probably not.” But here we are, preparing to run a marathon.
The contents of that email (which I should have deleted as was my first instinct! Let this be a reminder to you all to TRUST your instincts!) detailed a marathon training clinic organized by a group called Windward Endurance Training and a local restaurant, the Kalapawai Cafe. The program they offer consists of three weekly group runs, video stride and running analysis, workout recommendations, discounts from the Be Fit Kailua shoe store and the Planet Sun sun care store, a post-race massage, and, best of all, free snacks at the Kalapawai Cafe after our Sunday morning runs. Free snacks go far in motivating me to do things I otherwise would avoid, but snacks alone do not a marathon make.
What really got Don and I giving some serious thought to drinking the kool-aid was that the program sounds like the most sure-fire way to get someone to the start and finish lines of a marathon. If I decided to train for a marathon on my own, I’d likely be tempted to give up around mile 10. “10 miles is a perfectly respectable distance to run,” I’d reason, “and my feet hurt, so why press on?” Now, I’m part of a group of people (including a few who are in their 60’s and a lady who is several months pregnant) who will be disappointed if I give up halfway through the training, and I can draw on the collective knowledge of the group to make my marathon experience better and more likely to succeed. The discounts and free snacks certainly don’t hurt either!
This morning was our second training session, a little under 6.5 miles, and while I was at first overwhelmed by the distances we are already running (if you’ll recall, the longest distance I’d run prior to today was 6.2 miles), I’m finding that, despite the heat and despite feeling a little inadequate in my abilities (most of these people have run at least one marathon already), I’m struggling along just fine- I only contemplated running headlong into traffic to end my misery once on today’s run! Don would want me to mention that he had the fastest time this morning (I will own up to the fact that I was second to slowest), which I must admit is a feat since he was away for work all week and didn’t exercise at all.
We’ve got our eye on the Honolulu Marathon on December 13th. So far, I’ve been given some training tips from folks who have been there before; my brother, Andrew, recommended I invest in high quality socks because he said he wore holes in his when training for a race last summer, and the guy running the clinic, Mike Flaherty, suggested that people can psych themselves out when they put a marathon on a pedestal- it is, after all, only a run. I’m open to more advice, if you have it! Stay tuned here for some new equipment reviews as we go along, and wish me luck, I’m going to need it for the training alone!