I was intimidated as hell. Seeing how long it was when driving it, I didn't know if I could really run that far. I've only done three miles twice before and the first time I did I hurt myself. However, I can't stop thinking about that marathon. I have to do this.
This morning, even before I went to the memorial, I pulled on my shoes and set out on a very slow pace. I was trying for 10 minutes miles in an effort to be ultra conservative with my running. I have to do this run four days a week for three weeks. So far in my running, as I get near the end, I have been pushing myself by saying "you can make it, you can make it." This time, I took a page from my running book and kept telling myself "you feel great! This is easy."
It worked like a charm. At the end of the 3 miles, I felt fine and knew I could keep running. In fact, I know my cardio-vascular system can do a hell of a lot more. Before I would hit my 2:2 running pattern (inhale two steps, exhale two steps) after less than two tenths of a mile. Today, I didn't hit that pattern until the hill. I actually feel good enough that I want to go out running now, but I have an early morning run tomorrow and I can't risk hurting myself. This feels weird.
When I got back to my apartment, having stuck with my slow 10 minute miles, I elected not to run any further. My heart and lungs are fine, but my skeleto-muscular system isn't there yet. I've not done any serious working out for about 17, 18 years. Back then, I was practicing Kung Fu regularly and had, for the only time in my life, a washboard stomach. I mentioned that to my friend Silke and she laughed at the thought of me ever having a six-pack and frankly, I don't blame her. She's used to a pudgy guy who gets tired from energetic dancing. Of the words people might use to describe me, athletic is not one of them.
Silke is a dear friend, but that laugh stuck with me. I think it motivates me as much as anything does.