from mile to marathon

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

Thursday, February 22, 2007

retrospective - one year

One year ago today I stepped for the first time on a treadmill, fumbled with the buttons, and - flummoxed by the improbability of me being there - failed to make the thing work. Next day I tried again and ran my first mile.

In the meantime: I ran two 5Ks, not because I wanted to compete in a race, but because I thought it was cool to run on the 4th of July and for Thanksgiving. I ran two half-marathons, since the ability to run 13 miles did not seem to be enough in and of itself - I had to somehow make it official, mark my arrival at half-point.

I learned a lot about running, a given, since I knew nothing before and there is a lot to learn. I still feel like a novice. I still do not feel like a runner. I don't enjoy running yet, which puzzles me a bit. I thought it would be acquired taste. Perhaps - at 940 miles life-to-date - I have not acquired enough.

I expected to have learned a lot about myself, but nothing comes to mind. I have a slight suspicion that I am being obtuse on this point. I cannot come up with one single shred of novel understanding of myself. Of course, I was determined, I was persistent, I was perseverent. But I knew this beforehand. I've always known this about myself - I have tenacity. Going in, that's the only thing I knew.

I still do not quite know why I want to run a marathon. When I started to run though, I started because I could not find an answer to 'why not.' The only possible response that came to mind was that running a marathon was too damn hard. Somehow I could not accept that as a reason not to run. So I ran.

Tomorrow we also celebrate eleven years since, in true refugee fashion, with a suitcase and no other place to go, I knocked at my boyfriend's door late at night. When he opened it, puzzled, I asked: "Eeer... can I stay here fow a little while?"

Not exactly in my line of character. But it was February, and cold. What's a girl to do?

And to quote Paris Parfait's entry from February 14, "we've been together ever since."


At 11:00 AM, Blogger mtnrunR said...

can I stay for a little while... very good. Don't know why but I like that line and can just picture it. Congratulations.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Journey to a Centum said...

Dear future Marathon FINISHER!

If Michelle and I come to visit New Mexico can we stay a little while?

One word... Eugene!

Why not make your marathon debut at a first ever marathon in the birthplace of NIKE running shoes!

My advice - Find a marathon that gives you just enough time to get ready for and pay the money, make a hotel reservation, and commit on your blog. To quote the Marathon Maniacs Moto... YOU CAN DO IT!

So many runners claim to "find themselves" while running. I think for others it's just a great opportunity to clear your mind and think about things. It can help you plan your day, week, month, year, life. I'm one of the holdouts that won't use my ipod unless I'm running a very long run by myself and then I won't turn it on until I've processed my thoughts. Running can fullfil competitive needs as well. I think running offers each individual a different experience. Perhaps for you it's the satisfaction of completing what was originally considered an impossible goal. I know it's been really fun for Michlle sinch she completed her first marathon. Now she's running ultras!

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Happy 11th! I believe that's Turquoise and steel.

I agree with Journey to a Centum, Come to Eugene! ( but don't spend 11 years there) and I will be there as well.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Minerva said...

I do admire you. As someone whose attitude to running is, I don't do it, I really admire anyone who manages to conquer the tarmac..

And loved the line...


At 2:53 AM, Blogger paris parfait said...

Congrats on 11 years together! (And thanks for the nod). It's wonderful that in the year you've been running, you've accomplished so much. And it's very inspiring that you're setting other positive goals for yourself, which I'm sure you will achieve. I'll be looking forward to hearing all about whichever marathon you decide to run first! xo

At 6:08 AM, Blogger JustRun said...

I think that's one of the biggest mysteries of my life, that I am not entirely sure (or sometimes even half sure) why I do something I don't always enjoy but then continue to do it anyway. And what's more, I keep wanting more of it, too.

I also love that you know your "life-long mileage." That's pretty cool.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

it is surprising to me that you say you don't like running, yet you do it. You must enjoy *something* about it; maybe the challenge??

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Running by.... said...

Happy 11th--what a sweet story.

You'll really love running a marathon. I LOVED every minute of my one and only.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger robtherunner said...

Congratulations on becoming a runner, whether you define yourself as one or not. I cannot remember when I began to like running. It certainly was something that served a purpose when I began, to become more active and lose weight. Somewhere along the way it became either passion or obsession. I'm not sure which.

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy runiversary! :) I think you've gained a lot more than you realize. And, you may think you don't enjoy running yet, but I think you're addicted. :)

At 5:10 AM, Blogger Chad said...

What a great year. You push yourself so hard and you are so focused. I'm sure you complete your first marathon shortly.

As far as loving running, I can't say I love running either, but it's a means to an end, and if I can occassionally have fun doing it, so much the better.


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