A few weeks ago a friend sent me a friendly reminder that Team FootWorks would soon begin its half marathon and full marathon training in September. Like most other things in my life lately, I tossed the idea of training aside — I lack two important assets: motivation and time.

Anyway, I guess on some level I didn’t shelve the idea completely because I kept her reminder in my inbox and every now and then opened it up, checked the schedule, and set it aside.

Last night, on the eve of the first run meet, I decided to do it. I decided to wilfully assault my body with 6 am call times, for runs that eventually will push me to complete 14 mile distances. I’m not a particularly good runner but I tend to commit to a run once I begin it. So, as I joined the ranks of more or less 400 other runners this morning, I felt intimidated but ever so slightly emboldened by the challenge.

It’s been many months since my last “real” run but I thought muscle memory and adrenalin would sustain me for the first 3 miles. It didn’t quite work out that way. By mile 2 I was seriously falling behind from my pace group and questioning the wisdom of my decision while ignoring the desire to vomit and faint. Our group maintained a brisk pace and a casual conversation, but through it all I kept looking up. The sun was rising, there was no imminent danger of a swooping bird, and I knew, sooner or later, this run would end, and I would pick up my broken pieces and drive home.

Eventually the run did end. And I felt that old feeling of fatigued accomplishment. I was a mess but I finished my run. And for today, that was worth a lot more than I can say.

September 19, 2010