I just did something that totally wigs me out: I registered for the Black Cat 20-Miler on March 6th. OMG I have to run 20 consecutive freaking miles!
If you’re sane, this “epiphany” probably sounds painfully obvious; I did indeed commit to running the Boston Marathon and last we checked the BAA course is still a regulation 26.2 miles. Even Homer Simpson could make the mental leap that someday before Marathon Monday my training would take me to “20”.
In my defense, I submit to you that on October 18th 2010 when I committed to my marathon debut, April 18th 2011 sounded wildly, impossibly far away. I took it seriously yet committed cavalierly—the way you might commit on the 4th of July when Aunt Matilda asks you to watch her five Chihuahuas as she winters in the tropics. No problemo! Sounds like fun! I love dogs! you say. Plenty of time to either figure it out or back out, you think.
And then all of a sudden there’s a parade of yappy ankle-biters on your doorstep.
I committed to running 26.2 miles. I committed to raising $5,000. The days and weeks and months have evaporated. February will lead to March which will turn into April and all of a sudden I’ll be in freaking Hopkinton. I’m heading into the territory where my workouts last longer than some people’s workdays…and at the same time I’m just shy of halfway to my $5K goal.
Ack! Double ack!
Thank God for my new best friend, ultramarathoner Pam Reed. I adore her; she is completely fantastic and I count her friendship as one of life’s true blessings. You know the type of friend she is: Encouraging. Inspiring. The kind of friend who has never actually heard of you and could sue you for defamation of character for linking her good name and yours. We all have friends like that, right? 😉
Here’s what Pam said to me (and to everyone else who has read pages 60-61 of Rich Elliott’s Runners on Running):
When I compete in a 100-mile race…in my own mind, I’m not really running 100 miles. I’m simply running one mile one hundred times. Learning to break a long distance into a series of much smaller ones is key for getting through any long journey.
…If you can mentally convince yourself that you can tackle a task—whether it’s running a marathon or cleaning up a room, you can always accomplish it physically. Well, maybe not always. Almost always. Often. More often than you think. Sometimes at least. Definitely sometimes!
Today I am channeling Pam twice: I will not run the Black Cat 20-Miler on March 6th. I will instead run the “Black Cat One Miler Twenty Times” that day. I will also not fundraise my remaining $2,815.21. I will simply fundraise five dollars five hundred and sixty three times.
Can I do it? Pam says yes. And then she says maybe not, but probably. She says definitely probably! If you’d like to be one of my 563, please click here to make your tax-deductible donation to Children’s Hospital. Please also don’t forget to leave me a message—I can’t tell you how much I love to read them!
As always, thanks for stopping by, reading my crazy ramblings, and encouraging me along this crazy path to Boston.
P.S.: I’ve added a SUBSCRIBE button to this blog—it’s at the top of the upper right-hand column. I’m not going to post to FB every time I write from here on out, so feel free to subscribe if you’d like to be notified when I post new content. Feel free to not subscribe if you’re already sick of my ramblings and can’t wait til the marathon is over so I stop yammering on about it 😉