The bike race season is finally coming to a close for me. It’s been a really great year, but I am looking forward to fewer obligations, fun rides with no structure and other adventures as we head into the fall. One such adventure presented itself recently and sucked me in head first. I was talking to a friend, Greg Rittler, and he challenged me to do something I have never done: run a marathon. Now, I have never run a marathon, but from all the stories I’ve heard from friends about not being able to walk the next day, the dreaded mile 20 and the utter exhaustion of running 26.2 miles, it has sounded tough. But hey, I race mountain bikes all day and over mountains for fun. My long bike training rides last longer than the average marathon finish time. How hard could it possibly be?! But that’s where the catch comes in. And the catch is a pretty serious one.
Greg challenged me to run the Baltimore Marathon on 10/18, which was 38 days away at the time. Closer now.
Initially when he said it, I was thinking I could take a few months to build up some running fitness on top of what I have, get used to a very different form of exercise and enjoy things in the process. But that wasn’t what Greg stipulated.
38 days to figure out how to run for 3+ hours? 38 days to start running, build fitness, and then throw down in a race? 38 days to find a way not to shuffle across the finish line? 38 days to train for a MARATHON?
Suddenly, all of my confidence went out the window. Doubts streamed through my head, citing the absolute impossibility of the feat. Surely it wouldn’t be possible to run the whole thing! I’ll get hurt! This isn’t a 5 hour bike ride, its way harder! The faster the excuses came, the more firmly I knew the answer I had to give:
So I’ve started. Who knows if I’ll make it. But if my body survives the training, I’ll be on that line October 18th, for a new type of adventure. I'm definitely hoping to see some familiar faces out there!
Time to get to it.