from mile to marathon

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

Friday, August 04, 2006


By the beginning of May I was ready for more changes. I was still running in the evening. I was still running exclusively on the treadmill, missing the free air I had never tried, and loathing myself for my reluctance to break free from the fitness center. The books I looked into still scared me with their grim outline of the future – strength building, speed work, strides. And they still confused me – according to all exercise schedules I was pushing myself too hard.

How else am I going to run a marathon? I have to push myself, as lazy as I am.

I started to skip at least a day a week in my workout, so my legs would not be cramped up all the time. It felt like a setback, at first. As per Marathon for Dummies, I bought a braided nylon rope from Lowe’s (feeling like the Boston strangler), and started stretching after each run. That was somehow amusing, at least for a while. The author swears you feel so much better next day. I did. Only a little bit. My calves were better. The rest of me was still hobbling around as if I were 80.

And I bought running gear. Socks with shock absorbing soles, shorts and top with moisture-wicking properties, all this technically sounding stuff, one expects them to be metal and wires, not just some piece of cloth at an exorbitant price. But I have to admit it felt good to run in them. They were feather-light and moved with the body. The simple act of purchasing them produced a flutter in my stomach, because it felt like commitment. What was I getting myself into?


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