You know those people who tell you, “If you can run a half marathon you can run the whole thing?”
They’d better be right.
I began running in May 2009 to help lose what would end up being 100 pounds.
I didn’t think I could run 6 blocks.
In October 2010 I ran my first, and only, half marathon . . . in the woods . . . on trails . . . tripping on tree roots. Let me give you a visual. I’m 48 years old and 6 feet tall with wildly curly hair. It’s ok. I give you permission to laugh.
That marathon was really fun. I’m not kidding. I don’t profess to love running at 5:00 in the morning (which is what I do. Which means getting up at 4:30am . . . when I REALLY don’t love running.) But I loved that event. And at the end of it I said to my running partner, “Do you realize that if we were running a whole marathon, we’d have to do that again . . . right now!?”
NOT A CHANCE I WAS EVER GOING TO DO THAT.
But last year on the day of the Twin Cities Marathon, my husband and I were on a bike ride that took us along a portion of the marathon route. It was a beautiful fall day and I had this small longing inside that felt like, “Why can’t I be one of those crazy people?”
I talked about it with a few runners I know who said they’d think about it. You understand how easy it is to pretend to seriously think about something that’s almost a year away.
Then one Friday morning a couple of weeks ago I was running my 5 mile route and I said to God, “I can’t do it. It’s not grabbing hold of me. I’m not going to run the marathon.”
I couldn’t hear Him then, but now I know God said, “Ha!”
After mass that very morning, one of the young moms in the parish asked me if I wanted to join a group of them for coffee. I love my morning coffee. So much so that when the Archbishop asked that we make a sacrifice for all the attacks being made on religious liberty, I gave up coffee on Friday mornings. I sat in my car thinking about what I needed to do at home vs. going to coffee, but not drinking coffee. Since it was a group that was somewhat new to me, I thought I’d expand my horizons and go for a short while.
We were all discussing various topics when Ann, whose oldest child is in school with my youngest, said – out of the blue – that she had been thinking of running in the Twin Cities Marathon, but that she was about to give it up because she wasn’t feeling inspired. She was searching for the words to explain what she meant when I asked, “Do you mean you need to spiritualize it? To give it an intention?” Indeed, that was exactly what she meant. For the amount of time it was going to take to prepare, it couldn’t be for selfish reasons. So I said, “Ok. Let’s run it and offer it for something.” Like what? I didn’t know.
A couple of minutes later it occurred to me – the Marriage Amendment.
Ann agreed that it was a worthy sacrifice and that she would speak to her husband about it and see if she could persuade him that it would be worth the time. I suggested that she just present what we talked about and if her husband expressed hesitation we would not do it, but if he agreed – that would be our sign.
Two days later Ann told me that her husband said it seemed to him that God wanted us to do this. So here we are all signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon.
Better late than never.