For this entry, I’ve decided to categorize the reactions I get when I tell people I’m going to run a marathon. I just love seeing the amount of people who look at me as if I told them I’m going to join a colony of baboons or something. It gives me that boost of confidence I need.
Most of the people I’ve told that I’m going to run a marathon fall into this category. They’re the ones who are too kind to tell me that I’ll never be able to pull this thing off. Some even offer me some lame bit of advice like “pace yourself” or “drink lots of water.” The unspoken exclamation is, “Why are you doing this to yourself?!” but we don’t acknowledge that. The good part about the smilers, though, is that it’s easy to gain their blind support. Most of them don’t know me well enough to be educated on the fact that I suck at running. They’ll believe I can do pretty much anything once I tell them I ran 10 miles or so. It’s refreshing.
A lot of my better friends and fellow cross country teammates would probably classify as a skeptic. Heck, most of the people reading this blog are probably wondering why on earth I haven’t just hung this thing up yet. All I seem to do is share horror stories of bloody noses and complain. But the skeptics go past the former category’s characteristics, of hiding their thoughts that there’s no way I’ll be able to accomplish this: they’ll tell it to my face. Some people are nicer, and ask me why I’m still planning on running a marathon if I hate exercising so much. Others will pull me inside and ask me if this is all a joke. When I tell them I’m completely serious, I can see the concern in their eyes.
Finally, there’s the most rare group of people: those who believe 100 percent that I can do this. It consists of mainly family members. They’re the ones who bring me joy in my miles and miles of sorrow, beaming when I tell them the pitiful amount of miles I ran. Many of them are just extremely optimistic, which I appreciate. Strangely enough, some of the believers believe I can run this thing because, apparently, I’ve got the willpower to get myself through it. Sure, I’ll gripe about my aches and pains until my lungs give out. But there’s this little strategy I’ve been following lately. It’s called “fake it til’ you make it.” It works pretty well.
I promised myself to end this on a happy note, so here it is. Despite the fact that some people think I’m just joking around about this thing, I am totally and completely committed to it. Just last week, I ran four miles. It doesn’t sound like a ton, but it’s the longest I’ve run so far this year. But you’ve got to start somewhere, right? I’ve resumed my training and plan to be going about six to eight miles by this time next month. I’ll walk and groan and suffer very loudly, but I’m in too deep to duck out at this point. It might take me three hours, and it may take me 10. But I am going to run this stupid thing. I guarantee it.