When I began training, the temperatures were brisk, the trees only beginning to bud and the pre-dawn darkness remaining throughout the workout.
As the days turned into weeks and the first light of morning came earlier and earlier, I saw spring’s beauty unfold followed by the oppressive heat of July and August.
And now, I’m back where I began; cooler temperatures, falling leaves and darkness throughout the run.
It’s been quite a journey and in some ways, I’m amazed at how quickly the time has passed. The biggest surprise however, is how much time has been consumed by this endeavor. Having never trained for a marathon, I had no point of reference to measure the time required. It isn’t only the hours spent running which takes up a great deal of time. It’s also the hours spent recovering.
I discovered as the mileage increased, the fatigue factor compounded. What once constituted a full night’s sleep thereby sufficiently restoring the body, became grossly inadequate. As a result, additional time was needed for rest, both to sleep as well as to just sit and stare blankly into space.
And this all consuming enterprise hasn’t only impacted me. It's effected Beth also, as much of what she has done over the past six months has revolved around making sure I was properly fed, adequately hydrated and reasonably rested. And she has done a fantastic job. In fact, I would not have made it this far without her help and support.
Recently after reading an article in Runner’s World magazine, I mentioned the New York City marathon as a potential goal for 2008.
Beth was quick to point out that 2009 might be a better idea as our time together during the past six months, while very good, has been extremely limited as a result of the marathon training.
At first, my response was to say this was my decision but the truth is, she’s absolutely right. Making the decision to take on a challenge such as this isn’t only mine to make. It’s ours because we’re a team.
And as race day draws near, I’m glad she will be there to share this part of the experience with me as well. Right now I’m both nervous and excited. To do something one’s never done is good. To do something one never considered possible is great.
Thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement and look for a full report in the coming weeks.