Monday evening as me and my running date were looking through this year’s family race calendar, we were talking about each of our planned races, dates, schedules, family events, etc. and tried to come up with a reasonable family schedule until at least end of October to cover this year’s big event (at least from my selfish point of view): the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Now as my running date is getting more and more hooked onto running and preparing for her first 5k race in March, she is going through the same steps of mental transition that is necessary to understand how big of a physical and mental accomplishment it is to run 26.2 miles.
I remember before I started running, actually about 20 years before that life altering moment, we had a relative back in Hungary who we all thought was a very funny guy, but a bit of a weirdo in a good way as we saw him running all the time. We lived in one of the typical concrete block of houses in the former “Eastern Block” and happened to live close to the top of a decent hill which he happened to run through during his training runs. During family gatherings when we occasionally mentioned that we saw him running again, he explained once his route that was basically crisscrossing our city, North-South, East-West, uphill and downhill. He mentioned the distance which was some 20-30-40 kilometers at times (12-18-24 miles) and we understood it is a significant distance to capture without a car or public transportation, but never really understood how much it was. Then I remember once he mentioned that he was running a race. A Trail Marathon. 26.2 miles… in a forest… on a trail… through the hills surrounded our city… I do not remember what his time was, but I do remember that besides thinking “Well, OK. That is nice.” I could not really process that information enough to understand what that really meant and I never bothered asking more details.
Fast-forward to 2013, a few minutes ago. There is no day that I do not think about him and how much I wish I could go back in time to have a really meaningful conversation with him. To gather all the intelligence I can. To pick his brain. With three Half Marathons under my belt and more to come later this year, I have now a very clear understanding (at least that is what I believe) what running 26.2 miles really means for one’s body. Physically and mentally. And now as my running date is getting more and more familiar with the 3.1 miles she is running more and more often, she starts to look at those 26.2 miles also very differently. As much as she supports me in my quest to run in Chicago on October 13, 2013, she is still questioning my sanity or she might just want to test my determination.
So as I was showing her the race website and let her know that tomorrow is the day when I am going to sign up, so the only way from tomorrow onwards is going forward (not that I ever thought about not going forward),after we finished talking in more length about how and what to prepare for this race, she just made one last comment to me: “But before you start this race, we will have to make sure that you let me know all the latest passwords to all of our accounts!”
She is funny…