Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On Getting Real and Being Gentle

Last October, I ran a half marathon. I felt stronger that day than I ever had in my entire life. I swore that I would do it again as soon as I could. Right then and there, I decided that I would run a full marathon before my 40th birthday in 2011.

I'm reconsidering that decision.

It's not that I'm not committed to staying in shape, although my winter workout log (if I actually had one) would testify to the contrary. I know that exercise is an essential part of the perpetual youth hat trick (good nutrition and Retin-A are the other two parts, in case you were wondering). It's just that I'm beginning to learn the importance of being gentle to myself--physically and mentally.

Sure, I still crave a good asphalt pounding every now and then, but I'm not going to pretend that my knees and ankles don't feel their age around the 8th mile. And, I can read. I know that after A Certain Age, long-distance running is not the most beneficial exercise for a woman.

And then, there's the matter of time. Training for the half marathon was time consuming, but the long runs never exceeded 2.5 hours. To train for a marathon, though? Those 2+ hour runs would fall on weekdays, with much longer runs on the weekends. I have a husband and a four-year-old that I like to spend time with. I also have a career that I love, and a few other hobbies that I enjoy. I'm not yet sold on the idea that a marathon finish would compensate for the time invested.

I'm slowly accepting the reality that I may never be a marathoner. I will always be a runner, though. That's good enough for me.

You know, I'm {this close} to channeling Stuart Smalley right now.

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