As many of you who follow this blog know, I am training for a half marathon in late January.
For many of you who know me personally, you must know that Armageddon must be coming upon us rather quickly.
Because I am not an athletic person.
And because up until August of this year, only bodily fluids exploding out of my children's beings (or blood curdling screams), got my ass up and running in record speed.
But my neighbor, who is always full of ideas, decided that this would be a great challenge for us to undertake.
Fortunately, we are not training without serious help. We are raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and their affiliate Team In Training, which take a slug like me and makes them marathon ready.
How ready, you ask?
Ten miles in a little over two hours this past Saturday ready.
Yes. Ten miles. 135 minutes. This Saturday. And I am still upright.
At first, I thought my biggest challenge would be raising the $1700 for Leukemia and Lymphoma research. But, as of last month, not only had I reached my goal, I surpassed it.
Then came the REALLY early in the morning runs. We're talking 4:30 am people. And yet, I found that not only can I get up at that time, but I can actually run, if given the appropriate soundtrack, AND feel good for the rest of the day.
And even more surprising? When I don't get up at un-Godly hours to run a ridiculous distance, I feel TERRIBLE. I feel guilty for sleeping until the "late" 6:45 a.m. time.
But what I am enjoying the most on the mornings I run (O.K., besides bragging rights to my thoroughly impressed third graders) is the time to think, by myself, for a good hour.
Because even though a huge range of musical genres are blaring through my wireless headphones, my mind is still. I don't have a thousand jumbled messages getting crossed in transmission. Thoughts are not getting pushed aside by the day's impeding agenda.
It is impossible not to clear your mind when you run. Granted, I didn't run straight through for ten miles on Saturday. I did intervals of two minute, fast paced walks and one and a half minute runs. But when you are exerting that kind of force, you must focus on breathing, on moving one leg in front of the other, rapidly.
And with each breath, each foot in front of the other, I pushed myself to do something I never thought I could do. As I neared the final intersection before reaching our ending point, the smile on my face was huge. I knew I could do anything.
In January, I will run the ING Miami Half Marathon. I will have raised the most money I have ever raised; by myself. I will run for two and a half hours; I will cross that finish line. I will have time to think about the magnitude of what I am doing, and who I am doing it for. I will have done something solely for the good of others.
In February, I will run the Disney Princess Half Marathon. This will be just for me. I will run for two and a half hours; I will cross that finish line. I will have time to think about the magnitude of what I am doing, and who I am doing it for.
I will know that I am strong in body, not just spirit.
And I will have done something solely good for me.
This will be JUST for ME.