131 Days, over 500 miles, and a pair of shoes have led me to this point. I’m finally just 10 days away from running the Baltimore Marathon. Just 19 weeks ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
This has been one of the most painful, challenging, and time consuming journeys I’ve ever been on. I have given up soda, avoided junk food, and in these last weeks even put down the bottle. Icing has become a regular part of my evening, and blisters no longer seem to gross me out. But it has been so worth it.
A few days ago I was talking to an old college buddy who ran a marathon last year. He told me, “Congratulations. You have done it!” And I think he is right. 10 days from now I’ll run the race. God willing, I’ll finish without any worse than usual issues, and it will be awesome. But that will be just about 4 hours of this trip. The countless hours, the self motivation, early mornings, painful knees, and maybe even a few tears, is really what this was all about. I set out to do something. A kind of commitment I have rarely had in my life, and now I’ve completed the worst of it. It might not be over until I cross the finish line, but the works is done.
Last night I went out for a quick 6 miler. I was thinking about how many times I’ve run down that hill, and past those apartment buildings. All of a sudden a biker on the sidewalk comes flying by. I mumble my usual response to bikers, “It’s called ‘Share the Road’, not ‘Share the sidewalk,'” he turns to look, and we both keep going. That got me thinking, “wow, I can’t believe nothing serious has happened to me. I really hope I don’t get hurt by something dumb in the last few days of training.” Seriously, not 15 seconds after that thought passes, I find myself laying face first right smack dab in the middle of 11th and U st. I look up to see people jumping from their seats in the outside seating area of Solly’s and a man running from the sidewalk to help me.
I got up with nothing more than a few scratches, my “10 days” bubble burst, and a red face, but left thinking that it could have been a lot worse and at least 20 or so people had something to laugh about!
10 days until race day. The work is over, but the stories have just begun.