That's a response I get a LOT when I tell people I'm in training for a marathon.
Other popular responses include:
1) "You're crazy"
2) "Oh, the Phoenix Marathon? How far is that one?" (more on that later)
3) "I could NEVER do that....."
I want to address the "Why" first.
A marathon is something I never EVER ever EVER thought I would do. Ever.
Well, things change.
The two posts below describe the wonderful lives of two men who lost valiant and courageous battles with two different blood cancers, Leukemia and Lymphoma.
I miss them both. A lot. I'm not sure I ever really "properly" grieved for either of them, both for different reasons. There was the feeling of never really getting to say "Goodbye", the guilt of not seeing them often enough before they passed (it's the coulda-shoulda-woulda's that get ya every time), not to mention the memories that come flooding back when you see their handwriting in an old birthday card....the list goes on.
So when I heard about Team in Training and what they did, I initially balked. Me? A distance runner? Uh, no thanks. I ran track in Jr. High and the farthest I would go was 200 m. (that's a half a lap of a standard High School's track) Sprints, man. Long distance running is a WHOLE different ballgame.
But then I learned what Team in Training DOES- basically, you agree to raise money for an AWESOME cause (The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) and they provide the resources for you to acheive an endurance event goal. Seriously, check it out! Watch the videos and tell me you don't want to do this.
And after watching a friend go through her training and complete the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco (that course is SO COOL), I sat on the idea for about three years, then finally made the commitment when I went to an information meeting in Tucson. There were two people there who touched me deeply- Gene, one of the cycling coaches, was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 1980. If you know anything about these diseases, the survival rate back then wasn't so hot, but he made it, and he's doing just great, and is SUCH an inspiration to us all.
The other person was Betsy, mother of beautiful Alex, who succumbed to Lymphoma when she was just 13 years old. She stood up and bravely told her story and I sat there and thought "what am I waiting for?", so I signed up and 45 minutes later, I'm sitting numb in my car, on the phone with my boyfriend telling him "I just signed up to run a marathon"......
So, in response to "Why", I guess my answer would be "Why NOT??". If I can raise money to make a difference and to find a cure and provide patient services to people and families with Leukemia and Lymphoma (and other blood cancers), then I waited three years too long. It might be too late for my Granddad and Uncle, but with everyone contributing, we might be able to save someone else's Granddad and Uncle.
Better late than never, right?
And the feeling I'll have when I cross the finish line (somewhere in between pain and nausea), will be the satisfaction of knowing that I could and I did.
So why not?