Just two weeks from now I will drive to Memphis, Tennessee with my 4 kids and my sister. The next day I will run in the Memphis St Jude Marathon. Maybe I'll walk for some of the 26.2 miles; that will be ok. But I will finish. That is goal one.
You know in 5th or 6th grade when the teacher makes you write an essay about what you want to be doing in 5 years, or in 10 years, 15, 20 etc? When I was 10 years old, I said I would run a marathon by the time I was 15. No kidding, I really thought I would back then.
And by the time I was 20, an ultramarathon!
My friends all said they would be professional baseball or football players; I said I wanted to run... I guess there is credibility behind the adage that you are what you are, and what you are never really changes that much.
I didn't make my marathon at 15. Life provides many challenges, and I had my fair share early on. I was tested and tempted, but I passed. It passed. Like all else. It always does, right Rex?
And so I am 31, not 15. And I have responsibilities that far outweigh those from my teenage years, even though the weight of the world sure seemed to rest on my shoulders back then.
And I run, but I've learned that I am not really a runner. And I realized that its ok, and maybe even healthy, to do things, even if that isn't really who you are or what you are about.
In 2 weeks, I'll finally fulfill a 21 year goal. 21 years... 21 years it took me from the time I said I wanted to run a marathon to do it.
In a way, its been a marathon to get me to the starting line, so anything that happens after the gun is gravy.
If my IT band flares, and I walk; so be it. If I start too quickly and bonk at 20 miles then struggle in; so be it. I will finish... I WILL finish...
Now, my true goal, my everything is going just as I hoped and visualized goal, will be under 4. But miles 20-26 are unknown to me, having only run a max long of 20. So while my 20 mile pace says under 4 is very possible, my body may revolt at the last 6 miles.
But ya know, it won't matter. Because I will cross the finish line. And, even if I walk the whole damn thing I will run across the finish.
And my son and 3 little girls will see their daddy cross a finish line for the first time, something that obviously would not have happened if I had completed my original goal...
And that alone makes a 16 year delay worthwhile...