As my mouse point hovered near the final confirmation button last week, I had a fleeting moment of panic. Did I really want to do this again?
Having already spent three minutes of my life filling out the application -click- of course I do.
And $81.32 later, I'm registered to run my second marathon.
I've run one. I proved I could do it. I survived.
These days, marathons are a popular hobby, and it's not considered as crazy a feat as it once was. Millions of people run them every year, and sure, it's an accomplishment, but there are far greater ones. It's not like we're curing cancer.
But to me? It's a challenge. It requires months of training, sweating and some really awful runs. It's a time commitment – and even more importantly, it's a total mind and body commitment.
And these past few months, I've felt restless without a real training plan. I've done a handful of races since October (a 5K, a 5-miler, a 10-miler and a half marathon), but those didn't require sufficient training adjustments and were more or less on a whim.
I need to be challenged. I need structure. I need a goal. The Steamtown marathon was my summer/fall challenge. And while I learned more than I ever anticipated with that race, I definitely haven't mastered the art of a marathon — or even come to close to it. So, I'd like to throw my hat into the ring again.
So, I'm going to do another. God willing, on Sunday, May 20, I'll be lacing up my sneakers for another 26.2 miles, this time in the Poconos. I've temporarily lost my Steamtown partner-in-crime to a knee injury, so I'm on my own for this one.
It's funny, as I have selective memory when I think back to training for my first and only marathon. I remember seeing my Garmin flash "20" under Mileage for the first time while training, the excitement as we started the race, how easy the first half of it felt, crossing the finish line and feeling like a rock star and a sense of pride I had never felt before and haven't felt since.
However, buried deep in my memory are recollections of lying on a grassy patch on Front St. after running 15 miles in 96 degree weather, the 18-mile NYC race that I seriously doubted I'd be able to finish, the Saturday afternoons spent on the couch post-run with ice on my legs praying that someone would deliver me frozen yogurt, crying on mile 24 at Steamtown, promptly throwing myself in the horizontal position outside of a Rite Aid after the race and oh, how I couldn't walk properly for two days.
But, we'll let those memories stay buried.
With spring around the corner and the mild winter we've been blessed with, I'm ready for my next challenge. Are you? Maybe it's time to finally sign up for your first 5K, or download a half marathon training schedule and make a commitment. (Active.com is one of the best resources for finding and usually registering for races). Maybe you'll take a leap of faith and finally sign up for an ultra. Do it, and while your bank account may not thank you, I think your body and mind will.
As for me? It's time for marathon #2. See you on the pavement.