As I wrote about, I was really inspired and excited by the 27,000 runners at the Baltimore Running Festival last weekend. For a long time, I think I put runners on a pedestal. Something I could never be because duh- so sorry, so slow, so out of shape, so lazy, so hopeless, case closed. After all, in our grade school fitness test, I walked an 18.5 minute mile because I decided it was too hard after trying to run for 4 minutes. Since then when sinking into my BLAH SO FAT SO UNMOTIVATED FOREVER FAT mindset, I’ve often thought “sheesh if I could just be a runner”. Running is fascinating—our bodies are literally built to run but somehow it’s just not easy for everyone as it seems it should be thanks to asthma, bad knees, etc. There’s something so poetic about running, I thought. You lace up and just go wherever your feet take you for as long as they can.
Where am I going with this..oh yes I already regret starting this post. I always just assumed, remembering my pathetic mile attempt that was now 12 years ago (what? How? Ew), that I couldn’t be a runner. No clue why, that first mile attempt just stuck with me. But I always admired runners from afar. “Wow! They ran a half marathon? They ran for two and a half (estimated) straight hours! The only thing I can really do for two and a half hours is read, sleep and eat. So freaking cool, yo.” I’ve run two Color Runs and training for that was difficult because I was (am?) so out of shape.
Yet standing there at the Baltimore Running Festival, I was surprised to see so many runners of all shapes, sizes and ages. I saw a girl I (barely) knew from college who decided she wanted to feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from a marathon so she signed up for a marathon. Right there, surrounded by olives, I mulled that over and got my philosophical hat on. How cool. She thought about what she wanted to be and went for it. It’s so easy and mind-blowingly simple when you break it down like that. Why don’t I think of it like that? I make everything so complicated.
I saw all these people last Saturday, medals draped around their neck, and I thought “I could be one of them. If I wanted to, and put the work and time in, I could be one of them. I could be a half marathoner like I’ve wanted to be. They worked for it and did it. So could I.” So…..I will be. I am officially signed up for the Charles Street 12 miler in August. Not quite a half marathon but close. Charles Street is a historic, celebrated street here in Baltimore. I love the early bird discounts and I know if I don’t sign up early and make myself work toward it, I’ll push it off and eventually talk myself out of it once enough time goes by and it looks like I won’t be able to successfully train in time or I’ll be all “you want to do whaaat? hello caitlyn have you met yourself before?” Yep, that’s how I talk to myself. Will I do the Baltimore half marathon two months after that? I hope so. The early bird discount ends in a week and half so I should decide, uh, soon. I already looked at a half marathon training plan and wrote it all down.
I’m worried that I won’t be able to pull it off because I’ve never really taken on something so challenging as this. This is going to be hard and intense and I’m going to have to work really hard. I don’t really do “hard and intense”. I do “lounging in bed reading” and “eating nachos then taking a hard-earned nap”. Do I really have the ambition and determination and willpower to see this through? It’s all well and good to sit here and write about “I think I can I think I can”, “The only thing stopping me is me!”, but REALLY. Looking harder at this..I can sit here and spew out all the “I can do anything i set my mind to!!” cliches until the cows come home, but I’m so damn lazy, can I actually physically and mentally do this? Again I can sit here and I say “I think so.” But only time will tell. I really want to be a half marathoner. I don’t often get the chance to surprise myself, prove something to myself or work toward something and then feel proud when I accomplish it – what that says about my lame-ass life, I don’t want to analyze – and this is it. I want to feel the victory and sense of pride. I’ll be 25 (!) when all this happens, it’s time.
So…here we are. Just go.