With only five chapters left to write in my book, three small kids, a kitchen counter I haven’t seen since we put an offer in on our house, and piles of laundry beckoning me like the song of sirens, I decided on a whim that I would run a half-marathon this year.
“Because you don’t have enough to do already,” whisper the 230 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies in the other room, waiting to be sold.
I started running again, last August, after taking eight years off. So, obviously after three and a half months of running three miles maybe two or three times a week, clearly I’m ready for 13.1 miles. (The point one represents the two steps after the finish line when you die because the only time anyone should be running thirteen miles is if a lion is chasing them.)
As a born again runner, a half-marathon isn’t such a crazy idea to me—or other runners. Of course, other runners are the only ones who think running isn’t crazy. Because they’re crazy too. After all, a runner’s idea of a great time is running—a primal instinct humans once used to either catch food, or prevent themselves from becoming food. We’re all crazy. That’s why we think running is fun. When you not only own the proper amount of cold weather running gear but actually use it to run in cold weather instead of loungewear, you’re crazy. No one should be outside when it’s only 15 degrees, yet runners will be out there. I’m out there. We don’t even know why. Because we have the fleece tights, maybe.
Mostly, the allure of running is the mind-numbing effect it has on stress and your overall well-being. It’s like taking your brain and shaking it out all over the road, dumping out the extra garbage taking up space. While you are letting your body sort that crap out, you have permission not to be mentally present. You are invited to simply float away to la la land to Van Halen’s “Jump.” While your mind resolves your life’s issues all by itself you’re just cruising down the road on autopilot wondering why no one has pitched a reality TV show with David Lee Roth and Gary Busey. The subject matter and depth of that show are basically what running does to your brain. After you get past that horrific chest burning sensation, and your muscles allow you to get up and down from the toilet again without a bar it’s not so bad. As long as you start running the right way—gradually easing into it. Not committing to a half-marathon less than eight weeks after you start running. I am not a role model. I am an idiot.
So, I’ll be around here for awhile, writing about my training and letting you all laugh with my tears of pain. There will plenty because I’m 38 years old—this old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be. Still, I plan to see this through. Not because I’m dedicated or determined, but because the registration fee is non-refundable. I’m locked in. Committed. Betrothed to this race as well as all those Girl Scout Cookies sitting in the other room waiting to be sold.