Yesterday as I was sifting through one of my notebooks during an office meeting, I found a list of my goals for 2014. Crafted at the start of the new year, I made a list of things I wanted to achieve and get in a habit of doing. In the midst of trying to cook three times a week (fail), read two books a month (some months were a fail), and heading to California (I made it kind of close), I wrote “Fall Marathon.”
And here I am, four days out from checking off that item.
At 22, I’m going to run a marathon.
Now, I recognize that I am not the first 22-year-old to run a marathon; however, for me and those in my age group, the feat is quite impressive. At a time in my life that I could be out at happy hour every evening and spending my weekends out till the wee hours of the night, I chose to spend my Fridays sober in bed before 10 PM and my Saturday afternoons sleeping for the same amount of time that my legs had run hours earlier.
Nevertheless, this is also one of the most opportune times for me to do this. Right now I have no commitments to anyone but myself; I don’t have to worry about waking up someone at the crack of dawn when I’m scrambling to run or stress about having the energy after a long week to run 12-15 miles on the weekends.
And yet I’m the youngest one in the my running group by several years. Most members of the crew have families, houses and pets to care for, and even with all those extra responsibilities, they still find the time to run marathons. On the side. For fun. And they have been inspiring.
When I began this training experience, I knew no one in the group. None of my friends are as crazy about running as myself, so I dived into this thing solo. Along the way, I met some incredible people and on Sunday, we and 30,000 others will run 26.2 miles.
Although the race still hasn’t happened, several people have asked me if I will do this again. I jokingly respond that they should ask me again on Monday, but the truth is that I haven’t decided. Yes, the experience has been grueling at times and I have no idea how I will feel mentally and physically after this whole thing is over, but I haven’t completely crossed off the idea of doing it all again.
The friendships I have made now allow me the opportunity to reach out to a whole crew of folks who have the same crazy passion for running as myself. I also live in a city that allows me to marvel at historic sites while getting my workout in for the day. At same point in my life, I would love the opportunity to run a destination race. Whether that be through the vineyards of Napa or down Main Street of Disney World, or even past the Colosseum in Rome, I want my running to take me far, literally. Whether that be only for 13.1 or 26.2 is yet to be determined.
In the meantime, I’m feeling 22, psyched up for 26.2.