Sunday, October 28, 2012

Heading toward The Edge

“THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” ― Hunter S. Thompson

It seemed logical at the time, even inspired.  I was watching a wounded warrior run the Marine Corps Marathon -- with a prosthetic leg, no less -- and decided that I should run one, too.  Never mind that I can’t run a mile...or even a quarter mile.  In fact, I can barely jog for a minute nonstop.  Never mind that I am too old (58), too worn out with a degenerating spine and hips, and that I have arthritis in my neck.  And never mind that the people my age who ran the marathon barely hobbled over the finish line, looking as if they were walking over hot needles in bare feet -- and enjoying it even less.  I decided that if that amputee could run every day, facing far more obstacles than I have, I could certainly give it a try.  Besides, I’ve never let reality deter me before, so why start now?

The first step:
To get started, I spent a few hours searching online for marathon-in-a-year training programs.  It wasn’t easy to find one for someone whose level was as low as mine.  Most programs assume you are already an established jogger who can run three to five miles at a stretch, four or five days a week.  But I finally found one that would supposedly get me in shape for a marathon in one year, starting with one minute jogs.  It sounds ridiculous, I know.  Maybe it is ridiculous.  Am I crazy to even try?  I guess I’m about to find out.

     Goal: run the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon
     Training time: twelve months
     Starting level: zero.  Nowhere to go but up!

I’ve broken my training into four phases, each consisting of three months.  In this first phase, I’ll run four days a week on my treadmill (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays), rest two days (Wednesdays, Sundays) and engage in one long walk (Saturdays).  I’ll also do a light weight workout four days a week for toning and strength.
     My goal for phase one is to build up my endurance until I can run for three to four miles nonstop.  Right now that sounds about as possible as swimming across the Arctic Ocean in the winter without a wetsuit, but I hope to get to that point by the end of January (three months).

I have decided not to tell my family about this crazy idea for now.  I’ll wait until I can run for three or four miles nonstop. If I can make it that far, then I’ll divulge my plan.  At that point, it will still sound nutty, but not nearly as insane as it does right now.

     And so I begin...

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