Pretty close to a perfect holiday by my standards. In the morning I joined 36,000 of my closest friends in downtown for the 8 mile Turkey Trot. Dallas has the largest Turkey Trot in the nation so this event was huge! The entire thing was run in downtown, which gave me the chance to see a lot of sites I hadn't gotten to see yet, Dealy Plaza, J.F.K. Museum, Deep Ellum, etc.
That evening I had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner with friends. Given that I can't cook at all I'm very lucky to have so many friends who can. :)
Running is a mental sport... does that make me inspired or insane??
January 18, 2009 I will be running my very first marathon!!! I ran the Rock n' Roll Arizona half marathon last year, and since then have been running consistently with the idea that someday I'd work up to running a full marathon. It finally occured to me.... what exactly is it I'm waiting for?? To be in the running for a 1st place finish? To run a 5 minute mile pace for all 26.2 miles? To have the perfect schedule that gives me all the time in the world to train? Well, let's be serious- those are never going to happen! But that is the great thing about marathon running- or running in general...the sport is big enough for everyone!
If you've never been a spectator at a marathon finish line before I highly recommend it whether you're into running or not. It's absolutely amazing!!! First the incredible feat of the winners and records holders who run 26.2 miles in 2 hours or less!!!... but for me watching the finishers come in over the course of the next 4 hours beyond that is just as exciting. Nearly everyone of them is crying- for sheer joy or pain I'm not sure yet, probably some of both. What makes the marathon such an amazing event is that it's just a few miles further than the body should be able to run- even at it's best. Which means those last few miles is sheer determination, will, and endurance. And every person who crosses that finish line has an amazing story about what it's taken for them to get there. Whether it's training in spite of a serious medical diagnosis, the guy who 100 pounds ago could bearly climb one flight of stairs, the full time mom who managed to keep up her training for months in the midst of maintaining a busy family life.... everyone has a story! Runners say that crossing a marathon finish line changes your life forever. So I suppose in another 2 months I'll get some idea of what all of that really means.
I've been doing long distance runs for a while now, but Saturday was my first 16 mile run. My friend Andy and I braved the cold to endure the whole distance together. 16 miles is a very long way! The last few miles your body starts to realize that it's never run this far before- and it starts to rebel... that's where the whole mental aspect of the sport comes in. :)
Marathon training programs 'only' prepare you to run for 20 miles. Which means once you get on the actual course on race day, those last 6.2 miles come from....??? you get different answers from different people. But I have heard that people yelling for you on the sidelines can get you through some pretty tough times. Anyone available on January 18th??? :) I'm going to need all the help I can get!