The marathon is calling and I must go

I could feel it calling me while I was in Victoria enjoying the afterglow of having completed a very satisfying half marathon. I kept watching the people who had run the full marathon (identifiable by their very stylish jackets) and envying them.

After I ran the full marathon last year in Victoria, I told myself I wouldn’t run another full until a time that my age ended in “0” or “5” — so that I’d be among the youngest people in my age group. Well, next year’s Victoria marathon is scheduled to take place just days after I celebrate a birthday that ends in “0.” What better way to recognize a milestone birthday than to run a marathon?

My plan gets a little more ambitious than that, however. I couldn’t help but notice that the Victoria race takes place the same day as a much bigger and better-known marathon: Chicago! So I’ve been online busily researching what it will take to earn myself a spot in that world-class marathon.

Many of the race spots are awarded by lottery, so all I have to do is put my name in and hope that I’m one of the lucky ones drawn. If I get picked, then I’ll be enjoying a very big October vacation. And if I don’t? I’ll be thrilled to run again in Victoria!

I don’t expect to be competitive in my age group, even with the advantage of being one of the youngest. Just as I was last year, I’ll be happy to train safely, run strongly, and finish. But I get shivers every time I think about running 26.2 miles with 40,000 or so fellow runners.

Between now and then, I’ll maintain a fitness baseline over the winter, running 15-20 easy miles per week in all sorts of nasty weather, before starting to amp up the running intensity once again for the North Olympic Discovery half marathon in early June. By the beginning of July, I’ll move into serious marathon training.

I suppose it’s a sickness, wanting so badly to again go out and do a thing so demanding, so consuming of time and energy. But once I recognized that I really, honestly want to do this again, there was simply nothing to do but yield to the clarion call.

With apologies to John Muir, then:

The marathon is calling and I must go! 

Posted on November 4, 2014, in Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. of course you will. That was a given when you did it the first time. You go girl

  2. Ha! That’s a good Muir reference. I think it’s completely appropriate. It surely isn’t a sickness, but it is really in your blood at this point, that’s certain. You are so dedicated and it obviously does something for you that is unique to you and other runners. I think that birthday that ends in a zero is a wonderful running date and you’ll be more than ready. So back to training for the big one, Lori. You’re amazing. 🙂 (Not sick, of course, but maybe just a little crazy?) LOL! Not too many people can see themselves focused as you are! Exciting!

    • Debra, even though it will be months before I start upping the mileage and seriously training, I’m already eager to get started! Just having stated the intention publicly gets my juices flowing. I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t always chasing one big goal after another. Life would be a lot less interesting, I think. Here we go!!

  3. Good for you! I have been so afraid of that distance, I wish I could find someone here to train with. A Chicago trip would be awesome 😉

    • Karen, for the longest time I swore I’d NEVER do it. But there is so much glamor and romance to it — you think about the marathoners running into the stadium at the conclusion of the Olympics, with the crowd on their feet and roaring — and it just sucks you in. Or at least, that’s what happened to me.

  4. That’s a good vision to distract you from the soreness 🙂

    • Gotta dream big! For me, to stop dreaming would be to stagnate and die. Actually, Karen, the soreness was never that bad, either during training or during/after the race. I took the soreness as a badge reminding me that I was, in fact, pursuing something really big and worthwhile.

  5. A new fan here who’s enjoyed every word of your journey. Have you considered entering the New York Marathon lottery? I have my sights on it for ’15 as my first marathon. If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, right?

    • Hi Jeff! I did think about the New York Marathon, but the weather reports for this year’s race were scary! I like the idea of an October race better; it just seems less risky. The other thing is that Chicago is the same day as the Victoria BC race, which makes it easy to simply put 10/11/15 on my calendar and in my brain as the date to shoot for. Finally, as for planning a vacation around a race, New York is a great place, but the Chicago area has dozens of Frank Lloyd Wright homes to see in the days afterward. I’m afraid Chicago wins on all counts for me!

      But I hope your name gets picked in the lottery for New York. Maybe I’ll do that for my NEXT marathon, which I may not attempt again until my age ends in a 5. We’ll see!

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