from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.

Monday, July 31, 2006


A little bit over a month ago I signed up for a half-marathon in September. That was June 21st, and I was able to run 10 miles by then, but I had not consciously made up my mind that I would be running a marathon. It was only after the confirmation came in an email and I saw my name on it that I realized I had committed.

I had committed to running. I felt light-headed.

In a bit over a month the date will be September 3rd, and I will run a half-marathon. I run tenaciously, that is I do not skip running sessions, but when I am running I still do it empirically, according to the whim and state of the moment. I have no plan, no schedule, no strategy. The piles of books I looked into mention build-up and “tapering,” a strange term that recalls the narrow cut of slim pants. In all the time since I bought Marathon for Dummies, that is a quarter year, I have not yet made time to study how this term applies to the preparation for a long-distance race.

I am a bit scared. But I am committed too. I remind myself often: I will run a half-marathon. It’s a stepping stone of sorts, a springboard to the real thing.


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