Over the years, I've run 5K's, 10K's, half marathons and a host of K's in between. Inevitably, I'd be asked by a friend or colleague, "Have you ever run a marathon?" I would somewhat ashamedly answer "No". I had a ton of excuses. In my early 30's I didn't have the time. In my mid 30's I couldn't make the time commitment because of my children...they needed me. By 40, I was getting too old. In my middle 40's I decided that marathons were too hard on the human body and we weren't built for that sort of mileage, punishment and torture. It was unnatural and not the way our God intended our bodies to be used. By 50, I felt that I didn't have anything left to prove. I'd accomplished enough with my running career just by the fact that I had done it through the most trying times and conditions of my life. I had proven my commitment, longevity and stamina in the sport beyond what was necessary. I had proven that I was truly a pavement warrior. What more was left to prove? When I would run with younger colleagues, in particular, they would challenge me. "C'mon. You can do it." I always prided myself on the fact that I was faster than most of my younger co-runners and I wasn't too humble to rub that fact into them. They would persist, "Sure you're fast but can you do it for the long haul?" Recently I was chided by a running friend. I teased how my neck hurt from looking back for them on our last run. They retorted, "How many marathons have you done Mr. Rabbit? This turtle has done eight of them."
So now I have to put this final chapter of my running career to rest. My company is the media sponsor for the Chicago Marathon. I've been pressed on all sides to join in on this excursion to run the marathon and blog on my experience and training. For those who care to know here are some stats about me:
• I've never had knee surgery and hope I don't have to as a result of this training.
• My longest single distance ever was 15.5 miles.
• I average, on a bad day, 8:00 minute miles.
• Average during a half marathon: 7:14/mile to finish in 1:35.
• My goal is to finish this marathon in under 4 hours.
• My goal is to finish this marathon.
• I've only agreed to do this because the editorial staff and marketing team guarantee me that I will get at least one date from doing this blog. So far, that is the one area I can actually say I have Olympic standards. I'm an Olympic dater. I go on one date every 4 years.
I'll be following the Hal Higdon training program. I'll download that today and start my training. I'll let you know how it goes in these posts. I run whenever I can. Sometimes in the morning. Sometimes at lunch. Sometimes on weekends and sometimes in the evening. If you'd like to join me sometime, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe we can log some miles together.