At the running store last month, I eavesdropped as another customer told the salesman that she was training for a half-marathon, the Run to Remember.
“That’s a pretty good one,” he replied. “Very flat.”
I sighed. Well, I didn’t actually sigh, but I sighed inside. I’ve always wanted to run a half-marathon, but the one time I tried, the training hurt my knees too much. Now, just two months into running after a four-month recuperation from a sprained ankle, there was no way I could even think about it.
Visiting my in-laws that weekend, it was still on my mind. “It’s the only thing on my bucket list,” I mentioned one night. And it’s true. While I want to publish a book, that’s a career goal. While I want to travel and climb rocks and learn and read, there isn’t anything or anyplace specific in my bucket.
Just a half-marathon.
A week and a half ago, I ran seven miles. Shit, I thought, if I can run seven miles today, I can do thirteen in two-and-a-half weeks.
The twisted logic of a runner.
So, I registered. Since I haven’t been slowly building up, I haven’t strained my knees in training. I did another seven-mile run, plus some five-mile maintenance runs. I asked one of the dads at school where he goes to do ten miles, since he lives down the street from us.
On Mothers’ Day, I set out to do his ten-mile course, delighted to find that I passed a Starbucks at 2.5 miles, a fire station at 5 miles, and a Panera at 7.5 miles. Having borne three children, I judge the merits of a run on the number of available bathrooms. Not so awesome was that the run included 2 of the 3 dreaded Newton Hills, sans only Heartbreak Hill. I probably should have known better than to ask a marathoner where he runs, because he didn’t even mention those hills.
I did ten miles again yesterday, and although I was convinced I was going to die from mile 7.5 to mile 9, for the last mile I was thinking I could go another three if I had to.
Like I said, the twisted logic of a runner.
This coming Sunday, I’m running a half-marathon. They’ve promised plenty of port-a-potties. With any luck, my husband, his mother, and my kids will be waiting, a long two-and-a-half hours later, when I cross the finish line.
As of Monday morning, I’m going to need some ideas of what to put on my bucket list. What’s on yours?