Monday, December 10, 2007

Put Me In Coach

I’ve decided that I’m a real weenie. I don’t want to be, but I am. I’m just not rough and rugged like some folks. Part of the problem is my size. I’m scrawny and weak. I have no muscle. In fact, if my survival depended upon climbing a rope, I would be a goner. I’m especially lacking in upper body strength. If you’re old enough to remember those President’s Physical Fitness tests they used to have in grade school, you know what I mean when I tell you that I failed the chin-up portion. I could dangle from the bar all day, but I couldn’t pull myself up. In fact, I have years of mediocre PE performance under my belt. Oh, I tried to be athletic. I warmed the bench in grade school basketball and summer softball, but the closest I ever came to athletic prowess was playing on the championship intramural volleyball team in college. Trust me, it’s not too hard to win when most of the other teams are drinking their way through the tournament. I was proud of our win though, and still have the T-shirt after all these years. Post college, I found success in other areas, and that was enough to make me feel good about myself for most of my adult life, but that desire to be good at a sport, any sport has never gone away. And I’m not giving up. Barring any major illnesses or disasters, I still have a few more years to take a shot at it before my knees give out, the gout creeps in and the bad vision screws up my depth perception. I think that’s why I’ve taken up running. I figure if I stay at it long enough I’ll eventually outlast enough folks in my age bracket to win some races. In other words, I don’t have to be fast, I just have to be tenacious.

Tenacity is what I need in the next few months. A friend of mine has challenged me to run in a trail race in early March. The distances? 26K (13 miles), 26 miles, 50 miles or 60 miles. Up and down hills, over the river and through the woods. Muddy if it’s raining, which it tends to do here in March. Blech. IF I decide to do this I will do the 26K. Thirteen miles is nothing to experienced runners, but I’ve never run that far before. I’m sure I would have to walk some of it. I…am….so….scared…of….thirteen….miles. But…I’m….tempted. I want to see if I can do it. My only goal would be to finish the race.

I really am intimidated by the challenge. I thought a little research would help, so I did what I do whenever I want to learn something new, I Googled it. What did I find? Page after page of folks with blisters the size of half dollars, ACL injuries, people throwing up in mid race. People with diarrhea in mid race. People falling down and hurting themselves. I read some articles from Runner’s World. Same thing. Nothing to quell my fears there. Just a bunch of people pushing their bodies to the limit by running 100 miles and such. And while I don’t have the stomach for that kind of test, a part of me would like to be that person…just one time. That’s why I will toy with the idea of running this race over the next few weeks. It’s why I will pick up my running schedule and start pushing myself down the street harder. It’s why I’ll check out the trail shoes when I’m shopping in Nashville after Christmas. And maybe…just maybe….I’ll shed my weenie-ness for one day and give it a shot. I don’t know…..

1 comment:

janjanmom said...

Go for it!! Sieze the day!!