I have set a goal for myself; I want to run a marathon and I want to use this platform to help me achieve it.
To give some perspective on this goal, let me set the stage.
I am halfway through my thirty-sixth year. I have never been much of a “runner.” I was always last in the mile run in elementary school (last by a LOT). I have never done any traditional sports like soccer, baseball, or basketball. If it required running, I did not do it. I did spend time in seventh and eighth grade in ballet. Before that I spent a summer on a swim team. That is the extent of my experience with physical activity as a child.
Two years ago I was in moderately good shape, and I wanted to find a way to push that into really good shape. I began slowly. I jogged in circles in my living room. Eventually I got a treadmill and jogged on it nearly every single day. I was improving day-after-day, month-after-month. After a while I could run for over an hour and still have the strength to go further. But when my downstairs apartment neighbors began to complain, I quit.
And that is the extent of my history. Not very long and not very impressive, which, I hope, will make what I accomplish all the more meaningful.
Six months ago I had a partial hysterectomy. While I was recovering from that, I ate whatever I wanted and watched the numbers on the scale rise. I held the belief that once I had healed, I would easily get back to my pre-surgery weight with a little diet and a bit of exercise. Finally I did finish healing and I began to try and lose the extra pounds. But something odd happened. I kept gaining. And gaining. And gaining. Until I was the heaviest I have ever been.
The normal dietary changes weren’t having the same effect as they used to. At best I would stay the same weight, at worst I would see the scale numbers creep higher and higher. I realized I would need to do something different to lose this weight. I would need to work harder. So I began the hardest fight I have ever had with my weight. Bit-by-bit I have changed my diet, and step-by-step I have built back my stamina. Now I jog outside three to four times a week and I have started swimming occasionally. I have lost ten pounds. I am still heavier than I have ever been, but at least now I feel there is some hope.
Which brings me to my goal of running a marathon; why I want to do it and why I want to write about my journey. To me, running a marathon is an impossible task. I am reaching for the stars. But I believe that if I set myself to the task, I will be able to achieve it. And once having reached such a lofty and unattainable goal, well, will there be anything I can’t do? I also feel that by setting the bar so high I will be forced to incorporate running into my life so much that it will be a well-ingrained habit that I can take with me long after I have finished the marathon.
As for why I want to speak publicly about my journey, well, there are two reasons for that; accountability and accessibility. First off I think it will improve my chances if I make myself publicly accountable. I am doing this by announcing my goal, and I also intend to post updates daily about what I have I have done. I think having these points of accountability will be powerful for me. What I mean by accessibility is this; I have not found a really good runner’s book by a woman. I am not saying they aren’t out there (if you know of any, by all means let me know). I am saying that when I sat down to look for a runners’ training book, all the top ones were written by men. And I quickly found they all had a very different perspective from me. I could go into detail how their perspective differed, but this is something that I intend to rant about later, repeatedly.
So here I am. Thirty-six. I can jog slowly. My fastest mile is just under twelve minutes and my average distance is just over three miles.
My current training plan is to jog at least three times a week and swim two times a week. I intend to adjust my goals and methods of training as I improve. I don’t really have any time or distance goals for my runs right now. I just want to keep improving.
So, from here on out I will be posting a daily summary of what I have accomplished the previous day along with observations and thoughts that come up as I train. Wish me luck and please join me on this journey.