Okay. I’m looking in the mirror, and wondering if I’m nuts. I just signed up to run my first – and maybe only – marathon. I have several friends who signed up to run the half marathon. Then I got to talking with a different friend, who convinced me (maybe flattered is a better word) that I could run the full marathon. As of Monday, I will start on a very strict training regimen. And try to stop eating so much ice cream! With all the stuff that’s going on in my life, do I really have time for that? I hope so. I’ve spent the money, made the reservations, and will be on my way in late February.
Now, I guess I should say that I have run consistently for about 10 years. It’s just a habit now. Still… I don’t normally run 12 miles, or 18 miles, or 26 miles on an everyday run. Normal for me is 4, 5, or 6 miles. On occasion I’ll run 10 or 11. So when my friends told me I should run the half with them, I thought, “Shoot, I could do that, no problem! I’m a little sore after 11, but an extra couple won’t kill me….”
Then I was talking to the other friend about running the race – which happens to be in her hometown – and she told me that I could definitely do the full one. Having done several marathons over the years, she said that last year, her time was about 5 1/2 hours. I thought to myself, “I could run a marathon if I had 5 1/2 hours. I don’t have to do it in 3 1/2 or 4. If I have the time, I can do it.”
Now that I’ve signed up though, I’m wondering, “Can I do this?”
I think I can. Because, I just have to ask myself why I’m doing this, and then I know I can. This particular race is a breast cancer event. In fact, this race is billed as The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer.
A woman in my Sunday school class had a double mastectomy last year. A homeschooling mom I became friendly with after we moved to TN passed away from breast cancer in 2002, leaving 4 children under 10 without a mother. And one of the sweetest, dearest, kindest, funniest, smartest women I’ve been honored to call friend lost her life to the disease 3 years ago this week.
So when I think about running the marathon and let the fears and doubts take hold, or let thoughts of stress and the disruptions to my life overwhelm me, I’ll think instead about how all these women faced these same things. Only for them, it mattered a whole lot more. And when I run, I’ll run for them.