In an admittedly rash moment some time this past spring (it seems so very long ago now), I signed up to walk a half-marathon in October (which seemed so very far away then). I see by the calendar that the date of the event is now … let me count one more time just to be sure … yes, 10.5 weeks away. My “EZ Half Marathon Training Schedule for Walkers” starts 13 weeks before the event.
I’ve been walking my dogs daily for years, of course, but never more than about 4 miles at a time. If I walk for an hour at a shot, I feel it in my calves the next day. My pace right now is upwards of 20 minutes a mile. A half-marathon is 13.1 miles, which means I’ll be on the course (which I’ve heard has plenty of hills) for at least 4 hours, maybe more like 5.
I AM SO NOT READY FOR THIS.
Well, I’ve been in this position before. In January of 2001, I decided in another rash moment to ride my bicycle across America the following June. I was more than 50 pounds overweight and my riding range was about 15 miles. But I was powerfully motivated because I knew this opportunity was once in a lifetime–never again would I have the youth, the health, the time and the resources to make this epic journey. So I kicked myself in gear, so to speak, and spent hours every single day over the next 5 months lifting weights in the gym, riding my bike, and walking my dog. I joined Weight Watchers and hired a personal trainer. I gave everything I had to my training, and when the day came to dip my wheels in the Pacific Ocean at Astoria, Oregon, and ride east for 50 days and 3,667 miles toward Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I was decidedly nervous but I also knew I was as ready as I was ever going to get. I didn’t ride every single mile, and I was the first one into the sag wagon on the century days (100 or more miles of riding). But I rode more than 2,300 miles altogether and had some amazing experiences, all without a single injury.
So despite my anxiety right now, and even if I am still overweight and not getting any younger, I know I have the fortitude to do this thing. It’s just a matter of motivation. I’m guessing that I will be a one-and-done half-marathoner, and that’s fine. I do want to be able to say I did one, though.
Now, if I can just hire a grizzly bear to chase me for several miles three times a week ….