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.