On a previous post, Josh's sister wrote about running a marathon in memory of Josh. And it just so happens that the National Marathon is being held in Washington DC on March 20, 2010. Fitting as this is only two days after the anniversary of his death.
I enjoy working out, and even teach a few aerobics classes a week at a local gym, but am not a runner. I get bored easily and have always found the monotony of running something to be endured, not enjoyed. But in the past few months, to mix up my own work-out, I've begun running once a week. It is not much, but enough to have my daughter ask if I would consider signing up for the half marathon and running the first part with her.
In the past, I would've laughed and said, "Are you crazy?" However, things are different now. The thought of being in training during the weeks leading up to the "one year" mark is appealing. To do this in memory of Josh, with his sister, something hard and challenging - feels right.
One small caveat. In order to sign up for this race, you have to post a qualifying time in another race, like a 5k. "How long is a 5k?" I ask my daughter. "It is 3.1 miles and you have to run at least a 10 minute mile or within 31 minutes", she replies. So I sign up for an outdoor race called the Christmas Caper which ended up being canceled due to a huge snowstorm that hit the day before. Probably a good thing as running on a freezing, cold morning might have done me in.
Next try is an indoor track meet at a local middle school on a weekend morning. I did not know what to expect and was surprised to see children, teens, and adults of varying ages. "People do this for fun? Why?" says my thought bubble.
The 5k was the last race and I was there with about 20 other runners. 25 laps around. As I look around, I notice that I am the only one with an IPod. This should have alerted me to what I was in for. Start gun goes off and I can tell my pace is faster than a 10 minute mile. But very quickly, I find myself at the end of the pack and not only that, people are passing me because they are 1, 2, 3 or 4 laps ahead! I am the last one to finish and get a sprinkling of applause when done. I clocked a 27.40 minute time, well within the time needed to qualify which was good enough for me.
So I now have a calendar with my running goals and only hope that I can get acclimated to running longer distances. It is not so easy to coax an older body to get used to the constant pounding on the joints. And with all that has happened, I feel as though I have aged 10 years in the past ten months.
One of my daughter's college friends is running the full race with her and I hear her mother may be interested in running the half with me.
If any others are interested, please join us. We would love to have you. In memory of Josh.