Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Never say never!

Years ago, probably more like a couple of decades, I had this awesome poster with a picture of a runner, running in the dark and snow, silhouetted by the light of a lamp post.  Superimposed on the poster was the inscription "I used to think people that ran in the rain were nuts, when I started doing that I decided that people that ran marathons were crazy.  So here I am, it's five o'clock in the morning, it's snowing, and I'm out here training for a marathon..." 

So goes, so very often, the tale of runner turned marathoner.

My wife has always said she would never become a runner (though she has always liked to walk a bit).  Eight weeks ago or so, in the early weeks of my own marathon training, she spent some time on the race web site and in what she describes as a moment of weakness, signed up to walk the half-marathon.  She has taken to the training program, including an 11 miler last week AND SHE LIKED IT!  This weekend she actually got up at 4 a.m. to head to a race with me and walked 8 miles while I ran.  Her walking, which used to typically consist of a trip around a  block or two, and was as much about an opportunity to hold hands (with me, that is) and talk to the neighbors, has become an honest to goodness fitness pursuit.  Who'd have ever thought...

I used to be like that guy in the poster.  And then I ran a marathon.  And then I did a triathlon.  And then Ironman.  And then a 50 mile ultra-marathon.  So goes the tale of the long distance runner...

The ultra-marathon.  Any distance beyond the 26.2 miles of a marathon.  For me it is like uncharted territory.  A mountain not yet climbed.  A question not yet answered.  My 50 miler was quite an adventure (check out that story here).  Honestly, though I talked afterward about going further someday I wasn't sure I really would - until last week when my wife and I agreed I'd go for the 100 miler at Run Woodstock this September.  Never say never...

My wife still says she will never be a runner.  However, she is already checking out the other race distances at Woodstock.  Never say never.

Perhaps you are sitting on the couch, and where you need to start is with a walk around the block.  Why not grab the hand of somebody close and head out the door.  Who knows, a whole new world of adventure (and fitness) may be revealed.  In any case, be sure to stop back here often - perhaps (hopefully) my journey of discovery may serve as an inspiration for your own.

5 comments:

FFMarathon said...

Chuck - Such a great post and very inspiring. Running is such a gateway drug to soooo many great adventures. I'm on my third marathon training schedule and am looking forward to some day going beyond the 26.2 milestone.

Chuck said...

Thanks Greg. Wish you well on your marathon - and beyond!

FL Pedaler said...

My brother does it again -- Inspiring and I'm sure, many others. Your style and introspection are so infectious. Thanks so much for being who you are and especially for being so willing to share your special gift!

Love you...
Sis

Jim said...

Chuck - A couple of years ago you said that some day you wanted to do a 100 miler. I am so happy for you that you have followed your heart and are going for your dream race. You inspired me to do the Ironman with you. You inspired me to run 4 marathons. I don't know if you can inspire me to do a 100 miler, but run on my friend. Run on !

Chuck said...

Thanks Jim. Appreciate the words of affirmation. God bless you and yours!