Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Des Moines Marathon, Here We Come!
So, you might be wondering, "Why is someone who has been running very minimally in the past few months, and only six miles at the longest, registering for a marathon? A marathon in Iowa?"
The Iowa part is easy to answer; my grandparents live there and I have not seen them in almost two years.
The marathon question requires us to back in time.
When I was a freshman in high school, I had this secret fantasy of being on the cross county team. Which seemed far-fetched at the time, because my childhood athletic career had been pretty laughable. I was the disgrace of the YMCA softball and basketball teams. My teammates sighed with dismay each time I stepped onto the field or court. In three years, I never scored a single point in either sport. (That absolutely cracks me up now, but seemed pretty tragic to my chubby middle school self.) I could not shake this thought though, that I was meant to run on the cross country team. The first time I shared this dream with my one my classmates, he laughed in my face. I still remember the look of bewilderment on his face, "Isn't that, like, over 3 miles?"
But, I ran anyway. I loved cross country. I was never super fast, but I was in the top twenty for my county senior year and that was enough for me. (By the way, five years later, my little sister is now the fastest cross country runner in the county. *heart swelling with pride*)
By my freshmen year of college, I was ready for another challenge. It seemed absolutely crazy at the time, but my mom and I decided to race a triathlon. I had swam (by the way, for what's it worth, I'm actually a far superior swimmer than runner) and run in high school but was pretty out of shape. My mom hadn't seriously run since before I was born. We completed the Angel's Race Triathlon on my 19th birthday and have never looked back. Together and separately (and now with my younger sisters as well), we have completed too many 5Ks, 10Ks, biathlons, triathlons, and half-marathons to count. (Okay, honestly, she's done way more me. It's impossible now to imagine my mom going more than two weeks without collecting a race t-shirt.)
Obviously, the final (at least as far as I'm concerned) frontier is the marathon. A few years ago, I trained for about four months for a marathon. I was up to 17 miles and absolutely obsessed and ready. Unfortunately, a few weeks before race day, a nagging knee problem reached the point of serious knee injury. Doctor's orders were no running for at least a month, lest I wanted to permanently ruin my knee. Crying and disappointed, I had to put away my running shoes and couldn't run the marathon. My mom said there'd be another time.
I've got a hard 16 weeks of training ahead of me, but I'm ready.
Y'all, it's time.