Friday, November 25, 2005

It's not your regular turkey trot......

In fact, while running up the 400th hill on this 26 mile course - with what seemed to be a 200 mile and hour head wind blowing right in my face, it struck me ---- anyone that even makes an attempt at this Atlanta Marathon on Thanksgiving Day has to be one strange bird!
It was a beautiful day for a run around the city. Hundreds of anxious runners were all huddled together with me at the starting line in that "forever- wait" before the gun goes off.
The first couple of running steps always seem to be a little awkward- trying to avoid stepping on the heels of the person in front of you. The concrete seems especially hard as your cold feet strike the ground. Within the first couple of miles the pack thins out, the pace is set, leaders are established, but funny--- there I am about 20 blocks back still trying to make that final mental commitment to get in there and do this thing.
For me, it is just that, a mental commitment. If my body had had the chance to voice an opinion, I'd never had made it out the front door. It's something about saying or should I say "proving" that I can do it - that continues to push me into more "in over my head" situations than I care to discuss.
Running, I am learning, is a blessing. It is a privilege. And between miles 15 and 20 I found myself thanking GOD for every additional step he allowed me to take. Somewhere between mile 21 and 24, after the first couple of rounds of pain have come and gone, I found myself rethinking this whole running 26.2 mile thing. You'd be amazed at the little arguments that go on inside your head as your body is falling apart.
I made the decision to stop running and walk in the last two miles. Primarily because I wanted to live to be able to tell you about this experience - and because I didn't know if anyone would be willing to fill in for me on the noon show (ha!). The important thing is - I finished! 24 miles of running - 2.2 miles of walking......26.2 miles of the best kind of insanity money can't buy.
Perhaps the person that attempts this feat on Thanksgiving Day isn't one strange bird. How about, one strong bird.... or maybe... just a little coo coo.
Great race everyone! Thank you -

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