Friday, November 13, 2009

What It Feels Like Just Before Your Legs Fall Off



I did something last weekend that I never imagined I’d ever do – I ran in a marathon. AND it was today that I was finally able walk like a normal person.

Just to be clear, it wasn’t the full 2,667 miles those robots that look like humans run that I met from far off places like Japan, Norway, and Fontana. Nope, it was the beginner’s course. The one just a few notches above the kid’s run to the ice cream cart.

I’ve been preparing for this since the summer with some encouragement by one of my gym instructors. I have to admit when he first brought up the suggestion I had to contemplate the idea for a few days as the thought of running ‘just for the fun of it’ was completely foreign to me.
Call me a traditionalist but since birth I’ve always been a strong believer in running only when it’s absolutely necessary. Like running away from a hungry Cheetah in tall tundra or escaped hungry Velociraptor dinosaur on a forbidden island. Or maybe running alongside an exploding wharf and jumping onto a moving speedboat like Don Johnson.

In the end I joined the ranks of people that run just for the heck of it. They wake up really early when regular folk are still rightfully sleeping, cinch up that iPod and run to the beat of some bad 4-hour long techno song rendition. I chose to leave the 90’s techno in the graveyard where it belongs and replaced it with much more appropriate 1980’s Def Leppard musical selections.

There’s just nothing like running to “Rocket” just before the sun comes up.

Nothing at all.

When I passed that finish line and the realization that I can run for long amounts of time without dying, I immediately realized that with some more training and a few more halves I probably could one-day graduate to a full marathon.
Why not? That guy that was 4 seconds in front of me was 69-years old!
Heck, maybe one day I'll Forrest Gump it and run to Disney World from Hawaii. I’ve already signed up for the L.A. marathon in March – that’s a start.

It now seems a little funny to me that there were times when I thought to myself “what did I just sign myself up for” while running for what felt like hours just before I passed a 1 mile mark. But hey, I got over and finished it anyways.
And I take back all those things I said after passing that finish line (“I’ll never do that EVER again…” “I can’t feel my legs”, “I think my lungs fell out at mile marker 3...”) It’s all ancient history now.

Who knows, maybe one day, I’ll even travel way out to Fontana just to outrun a Cheetah.

23 comments:

Dan said...

A marathon is something I've considered recently. I don't know why, because I'm far from a naturally athletic person, but I lost a lot of weight this year and for some reason it feels like the next step.

Dan said...

oh, sorry, I meant to say Congratulations and well done before I started spouting off about me.

Congratulations!

Mac and Cheese said...

Nicely done! And you didn't mention KFC even once!

Dad Stuff said...

Congrats! Coincidently, I too have recently tried running. The ipod has alot to do with it. I like to run to my 80's list too.
Oingo Boingo sets a good pace.

mama speak said...

Congrats! My dad ran his first marathon the day after his 50th b-day (which means I have 9 more years till I start) ;-)
I'm still more of a "run to the fridge" kinda girl, but I do admire the tenacity of what you did.

When I was younger, I was often pushed to run, as I have notably long legs. I have NEVER gotten a runner's high. I'm not sure I believe it exists. I'm more inclined to think that you lose brain cells while doing it, and become so stupid, you start to enjoy the high from that. Like sniffing glue or something. ;-) But hey, that's just me.

Amrita said...

Congratulations for successfully running to the ice-cream cart!!! LOL!

What a feat....marathon.

Even the thought of it dries up my poor arhritic bones...only a Godzilla chasing me would make me run in a marathon.

Good luch for LA even Tony.
Keep trainning..and please wave at all your fans when you pass in front of the TV cameras.

creative-type dad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
creative-type dad said...

Mac and Cheese -- ACTUALLY....
I was fully craving KFC popcorn chicken when I finished.
Towards the end, I imagined finishing the marathon and getting handed a popcorn bucket of KFC.

mama speak -- So that explains all the Elmer's glue sponsorships...

nonlineargirl said...

Just wait until your toenails start to fall out. If that's not a warning sign, I don't know what is.

ArtistUnplugged said...

Congratulations to you!!!! I am making a run for a total knee replacement next spring so I will leave the running to you. Hope your wife caught some of the event on video....did she manage to leave out the bucket of KFC dangling on the end of a stick out of the frame? Ah, you can edit it. Bravo to you.

creative-type dad said...

ArtistUnplugged -- OK, I just had to update that picture after another KFC reference.

Mutuelle said...

Sport is one of my hobby. Nice post!

Defiscalisation said...

Congrats! keep it up!

Rachat Credit said...

Sport is good for health. Good initiative!

Beck said...

Good for you! I say, cheerily and in the way of someone who never ever plans on running... although a friend of mine keeps nagging me to start run-walking with her. (You run for a second or something and then walk for five minutes. Gradually you build up your running tolerance until you can run for a whole minute at a time. I think that's it.)

No, seriously - congratulations! That's great.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

You know that "runner's high" that everyone who runs always talks about? The one that's supposed to make you want to run even though it's totally hard and painful? I've never, ever felt that when I've been running.

Seriously though, a huge congrats to you. I'm genuinely impressed.

babies said...

welldone, Keep it up.....

Kim Hosey said...

Very impressive; congrats indeed. Here I get winded chasing my son in the back yard.

radioactive girl said...

Awesome! Watch out though...running is very addictive. WHen I first started, I hated it and because I am crazy I kept going until I not only forced myself to like it, but now I get up before 5 in the morning to run. I never would have thought I would like running, but now I love it.

Congratulations!

Bejewell said...

Kudos to you! I'm also relatively new to this whole "running for fun" concept, and I'm nowhere near marathon quality yet... but I've gotta say, after shedding 30 pounds and finding myself NOT huffing and puffing when I throw my kid up in the air, there might actually be something to this "running even when not being chased" thing.

carrie said...

My motto has always been "never run unless you're being chased." But - you inspire me, good man. I think it was the Def Leppard that did me in.

WILLIAM said...

Congratulations on the run. That is great.

Mutuelle said...

Lol it promotes two things (1) KFC (2) Sport. Great which one is the most preferred that is the question. Paining, thining and sweating or sitting, eating and obese.