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Half marathon

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*Note: I wrote this entry last Saturday, but decided to post it after my half marathon attempt. Here's the entry on the actual event: Half marathon, the event

As I write this, my body is in pain and distress. I feel like I've been hit by a Mack truck. And that's just a dry run I attempted today. I've been an avid jogger for years. Five or six miles, I can handle relatively well. But 13.1 miles is not something my body had been expecting, and it's letting me know loud and clear.

About a week ago I saw a half marathon ad in the local paper of my hometown, and impulsively I decided to take the plunge. I'd been meaning to take part in an organized running race for many years, but the fear of defeat had always held me back. This time I thought, what have I got to lose? I found out today that I could lose quite a bit, like my ability to walk. Another reason for my reluctance to participate had been the anxiety to lose my interest in running. I've met many people who've run a marathon or two, but perhaps found the experience so displeasing that they have quit running altogether. Giving up running to me is unfathomable, and I don't want to do anything that would jeopardize the desire, until now, I guess.

Running is an addiction for me, and I've never wanted to cure myself of the disease. I run every other day religiously covering four to five miles in each session. The addiction is so strong that when I miss a session, I go into withdrawals manifested by moodiness, depression, and general grouchiness. My wife who's clearly familiar with the symptoms, usually pushes me out the door demanding that I go for a jog before entering the house.

I've never actually clocked my routes. I only make educated guesses on the distances run, and today I decided to mount an all out assault on a distance I had never attempted before. Well, I couldn't finish it. about a mile from the house, I finally ran out of every bit of energy I had, and proceeded to walk the rest of the way back home. To my best estimate I had jogged about 12 miles before switching to a brisk walk. It hurt in more ways than one. Quitting is not a pleasant feeling, but there are times that one must heed the body and do the right thing. I pushed myself for as long as I could, and then painfully decided to down-shift.

The big event is next Sunday. Honestly, I'm doubtful that I can run the whole course. But I have now committed myself, and there is no backing out. Professional runners might scoff at my anxiety to run a mere half marathon. For me, however, it's a summit yet unconquered, and no matter the outcome, I must make the attempt. Let's lace up the sneakers and meet the challenge. No room for wimps here.

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