Day One, Mile One

May 31, 2011
As I stood at the 23 mile marker of the 2011 Vermont City Marathon, cheering on the runners and helping direct traffic (really people, you have to get there right now!? Have you heard this city puts on a Marathon each year???) I felt such admiration for these individuals, these warriors…Rock stars really…the culmination of all their hard work and sacrifice I was privileged to bear witness to. I was inspired. I want to do it, I thought to myself, I want be a part of this awesome experience! Wait, wait a minute…pause the Chariots of Fire soundtrack playing in my head…You are 41, your BMI puts you on the cusp of the overweight/obese category and the only running you have ever done is the running up of your credit card balances…But really the only way I could fail is if I never began. It would have to start with the first mile. I can run a mile, right??  What’s it going to take me, ten minutes?  I can do anything for ten minutes. Start with a mile…let’s see what I can do.
Today was a warm day to end the month of May, 84 degrees when I got home from work. Running outside was not a smart option.  My basement, where my treadmill resides, was a cool 64 degrees. The added plus to the cooler environment was no one could see me.  But, I would be alone…in a basement…would the dogs channel their inner Lassie to alert the Rescue squad when they recognized the thud of their master passing out and hitting the concrete? Stay positive, I’m not going to die, I’m just going to run a mile for crying out loud!  I tied up my Nike Max Air sneakers, put my hair in a high pony tail (at least I would look cute) and took my first few strides towards my goal.
I’ve heard, when running inside, you should keep yourself distracted; turn on the TV, have music playing, do anything but watch the display…I knew this, but somehow that’s all I could focus on after the first minute.  No, I told myself, listen to Darren Perron tell me the news, count how many floor joists make up the basement ceiling, mentally re-organize the Christmas decorations lined up on the opposite wall…but my eyes kept going back to the display.  Ohhh, this is going to be ugly.  10 minutes came and went….and I had only just passed the halfway mark!!  Keep going, you can do it!  I kept chanting to myself…heart pounding, knees screaming, sucking so much wind I’m sure I was changing the atmosphere above…People do this for fun!?!  The last 30 seconds my stride closely resembled Quasi Moto’s gait…Sanctuary! Sanctuary! I screamed as I repeatedly slammed the “down” button to slow me to a stop…It took me 16.34 minutes!!! To run a mile! Just ONE mile!! I am officially pathetic, I can walk faster than I can run….It’s got to get better, I will get better!
And so begins my goal, I AM going to run in the 2012 Vermont City Marathon.  It might be only the 1st leg of the relay (3.1 miles)…after the first day’s results, this might be the sane, realistic option.  Maybe as part of a two person relay (13.1 miles)If God gives me strength and a new set of lungs…but if I start making noise of conquering the whole flippin’ 26.2 miles the first time out…shoot me, I have succumb to mad cow disease.  It would ONLY be 25.1 miles more right?  And I have a whole year…Here I go!!!

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