Getting up at 5:30 in the morning to run 16 miles on my day off...
Waking up, lying there staring at the ceiling for a few minutes taking a silent inventory of every ache and pain, every stiff muscle and sore joint, thinking about the relative virtues of more sleep versus rolling my ass out of bed and JUST DOING IT.
Only 50 days left until the Chicago Marathon. The hardest part of the training is coming up now, increasing mileage every week peaking with a 20 mile run on September 15. Then, not a a moment too soon, comes three weeks of tapering off before race day on October 7. Really I only have about 4 weeks of difficult training left, then 3 weeks of coasting.
I'm really not built for this. I know I have arthritis in my knees (which knock wood hasn't manifested itself this year) and I'm about 20 pounds overweight. I run like I'm carrying a refrigerator up a flight of stairs; probably the only thing that would make it worse would be if I took up smoking as I ran.
Thing is, though, I crave that endorphin rush, and I keep reminding myself of that. Hopefully, by the time I finish today, I'll be carried away by a giddy megalomania, making huge plans for future running adventures, my achy pre-dawn angst swept away in a rush of good brain chemicals. I'll eat better, starting today. I'll do those stretches religiously. At least 5 pounds will melt from my frame between now and October. I'll finish faster and stronger than I did in 2004.
Yeah. And maybe I'm a Chinese jet pilot.
Did I mention that I've gone totally around the bend? I'm going to be running a second marathon in December: the Las Vegas Marathon, 8 weeks after Chicago. I'm proving something to myself; I don't know what, but I'm proving something. I meant to mention this on Thursday-- I think I might be running in an Elvis costume, helping to set a world record for most running Elvii in a single event. Oh yes.
It's time to get going.