Payback is hell… (a running post)
Three years ago I laced up a pair of running shoes, connected to a Nike+ and decided to become a healthier version of myself. In April of 2007, I could not complete a mile without collapsing, out of breath. By July 1st, I could comfortably complete a 10k (6.2 miles) and on July 16th I ran my first 5k under 30 minutes. I signed up for the Austin marathon and a little less than a year after I started running, I completed my first marathon in the slow, but completely average and acceptable time of 4:43.
I was giddy after crossing the finish line. I cannot explain the high. I called my older sister, who has always been a runner, but had not completed a marathon, to tell her how fabulous it went, how great I felt, how I could run another five miles and I would be fine.
And her delightful (and predictable) response was, “Well, did you really run the whole thing? Or did you walk some?”
“Well, I walked through some water stops – it is hard to drink water and run at the same time. And there was this one hill that beat me, I had to walk a few steps there too, but…”
“So, yeah, you didn’t really run the marathon then, huh?”
Sibling rivalry at its best.
Earlier this year my sister completed her first marathon (and she did beat my time by about 20 minutes). First thing I asked her when she crossed the finish line (I flew to Maryland to run the Frederick half while she was running the full) was, of course, “Did you run the whole thing? Or did you walk some?”
“I walked – I was an ass. And this was the dumbest thing I have EVER done in my life.”
She didn’t have the same positive experience I did with my first marathon – she could not have run five more miles – no way. But I had flown all the way to Maryland to run with her, so clearly, someone owes me a favor. This year, for the Austin marathon, which I will have to sit out due to some family expansion (my little boy is due 3 weeks prior to the gun and I hear I won’t bounce back quickly enough to bust out 13.1 or 26.2), I have recruited a ghost runner. Blake will be running for the INK team in my place, so I can help raise money for Blue Dog – I called in her debt.
What she doesn’t know is the Austin elevation is a beast – I guarantee you the same hill that bested me will annihilate her.
Blake and I prior to the gun at the Frederick Marathon.