Monday, March 26, 2007

Getting to the Starting Line

Getting to the Starting Line

The toughest part of the Boston Marathon is not getting to the finish line. The toughest part is getting to the starting line. Running 26.2 miles for a trained endurance athlete is a fairly simple thing to do. The tough part is becoming a trained endurance athlete.

I started running just under a year ago. I vividly remember the first run. It was just over four miles and I had to stop a number of times. It took me over 44 minutes. I was so discouraged that I wanted to quit. But I realized that quitting doesn't glorify God.

I remember those hot and humid days of summer. My well-insulated body felt like a polar bear on a tropical island. By the fall I had lost most of the insulation, but a hamstring injury slowed my down for a few weeks. Then came two months of snow and ice and cold.

And the biggest enemy of all: being complacent with the status quo. Not challenging or pushing oneself as far as one can go. Choosing comfort over pain and safety over risk.

I ran just over 19 miles today--mostly with Maureen. It was easy. I could have run lots further or lots faster, but probably not both.

I have come a long way from that four mile run a year ago. Running the 26.2 miles three weeks from today will be tough, but not nearly as tough as the daily decision to lace up the shoes regardless of how I feel or how it feels outside.

Happy birthday Amber! Thanks for being you and thanks for letting me be me. With us 1 + 1 = 3.


Unknown said...

I enjoyed the run around the lake with you, Maureen, and Christy last week. The group of you inspired me to run much faster than I would have otherwise, and to almost forget about the cold wind.

I see your number for Boston (2271) is much lower than my 10538. I am right at the end of the first wave of the start. The folks I have been training with here in NJ are right at the start of the second wave. I will have to decide whether to jump back into the second wave so as to run with them.

Last Sunday was a milestone for me, my last big training weekend, with 10 on Saturday, and 20 on Sunday. Now to enjoy the taper phase. You are right, the hardest part about doing a marathon is the training program.

Have a good run in Boston,
David Keifer

Craig Finnestad said...

Hey David,

Great to hear from you and I enjoyed running with you. Company is always appreciated and I was inspired by your story. I hope you have a great race in Boston as well! Next time you are in Omaha, let's get together and run again.