Running for It: The misery begins

A series of semi-regular posts in which I chronicle a year spent paying for a single mistake.

That mistake? The decision–a rash and hasty one, I might add–to sign up for the Chicago Marathon.

See, I smacked full-speed into 40 a couple of weeks ago. I treated that auspicious birthday as an opportunity to reflect on the decades of my life and then curl up into a fetal position, weeping. (To be fair, this is how I spend most birthdays. And for that matter, most weekends.) What have I accomplished? Four decades, and what do I have to show for it? (Yes, I understand that I have sired two wonderful children, but I do not count “functional gonads” as an accomplishment.)

And so I decided to set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal for the first year of my fifth decade. (Note to self: if you’re trying to make 40 sound less depressing, you are failing.) I’ve been running for a while now–no more than 5 or 6 miles at a time, generally around 25-30 miles a week–and I’ve come to… well, if not enjoy it, then at least tolerate it. I’ve run a few area races and done reasonably okay, I thought, so why not up the stakes a bit? And by “a bit,” I mean, “by orders of magnitude.” So I latched on to this notion of running a marathon. There are like a million of them, but Chicago stood out as a candidate because:

  1. It’s within driving distance.
  2. The family seems to like visiting that place, so they’ll have something to do while I kill myself for five hours.
  3. It seems pretty flat?

So, yeah… I’m doing this thing: Columbus Day Weekend. Running 26.2 miles. For no good reason.

Of course, I gotta work up to this thing, so I’m going to do Hospital Hill, a local half-marathon held in June. My training regimen for that half-marathon began today, with an easy three-mile run. It’s easy to get over-confident when, on your first day of training, you barely break a sweat. You bang out three miles, mocking Hal Higdon with a haughty insouciance. Let’s see how jaunty my mood is come May, when I’m running 11 miles on purpose. Or worse, come September, when I’m getting up at 5am on a Saturday so I can run 20+ miserable miles instead of doing something enjoyable (for example, anything other than running).

Remind me, please: why did I think this was a good idea?

2 Responses to “Running for It: The misery begins”

  1. anne Says:

    Yay! I look forward to listening in on the training progress, even as I train for my own Big Hairy Audacious Goal. :) And hey - maybe I’ll come out and watch!

  2. Price Says:

    Anne, I think your BHAG would be much more fun to watch.

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