It is my first attempt at a marathon. I think this is a good time for some reflecting.
It started with 7 minutes.
We were in Del Rio, TX just after Christmas in 2011. Sarah and I had taken to riding bikes in Boise because the green belt was right there on the edge of the RV park. We impressed ourselves by getting up to a 10 mile bike ride. But, in Del Rio, bike riding meant dodging drivers on narrow, pot hole filled roads. It just wasn't fun or really safe. So we languished.
Then a girl at work, Julie DuPlessis, ran the San Antonio marathon. It got me thinking.
Maybe I could do that.
I have always had something of an ambivalent relationship to running. My attitude was, if you have to run, you should have left earlier. I had to run for high school athletics and boot camp and the like, but I hated it. I think it was that hate that led me to decide to do it. I mean, if I hate it that bad, it must demonstrate a weakness. You don't ignore the weakness, you fix it. So I decided to run. Back in high school wrestling, we ran for 7 minutes our first day back from summer. It was agony. But it was nothing compared to the agony that awaited me. I smoked for 19 years and quit in 2004. I had no real cardiovascular conditioning.
So I laced up an old pair of work shoes just after Christmas in 2011 (because New Year's resolutions are for suckers) and I ran for 7 minutes. I thought I might literally die. My lungs burned, my legs wobbled, my head throbbed and I staggered back, but I made it. I covered a distance of just under half a mile.
According to my run logging software, I have run 354 miles in training for tomorrow. Oh what a difference a couple of years makes.
So, let's call it. On the advice of a random internet article I read, I selected three goals for the race. I have a goal, this is the focus of the day, this is what it is all about. That goal is to finish. My secondary goal is the goal that I would like to accomplish. Not my main goal, but it would be great if I beat 4 hours. My third one is if everything goes right and race day magic is in effect, I can accomplish my third goal of beating 3:50.
I am anticipating 4:15. I will be happy with 4:30.
We are in a hotel and I don't have access to all my normal stuff, so I will have to do the full, post-race blog post with pictures later.
Wish me luck.