Recently, I had a rare opportunity to reconnect with an old Drill Sergeant. I know that it is their job to push you to the edge…. But I honestly thought this particular Drill SSG really hated me on a personal level. Why? Because after the other Drill Sergeants figured out that I was really pushing myself… They let off me and went after the genuinely less motivated recruits. Not this guy. No matter what I did, it could just not be perfect enough. Even upon graduation from Basic Combat Training… I quite purposefully dodged him by any and all means necessary so that I could avoid shaking his hand.
I was thinking about how amazing a runner he was despite his short stature and upper body bulky ness. So, I sought him out, to just say,”Hi.” and to catch up. He was very receptive and seemed genuinely proud of how good a soldier I seemed to have become. I also told him about how I signed up for my first half-marathon and how my ultimate goal was to have a sub 2-hour time (which is considered very good). He told me that despite what I’ve read from other runners, completing 13.1 miles in less than 2 hours is quite manageable and he said he really believed that I could do it.
He also told me that half-marathons are just training runs. My reaction was,”wtf….. A training run? A training run for what?”. I ended up answering my own question. Half-marathons are often times used by runners to train for full 26.2 mi marathons. He suggested that I should sign up for a marathon. To that I replied,”Jeeze…. I just want to start small here. If I complete the half in sub 2 hours…. I’ll consider doing a whole marathon.”.
Then it hit me just how idiotic I sounded.
I recall when I had first signed up for this half marathon and I told an old squad leader and my battle buddy that I was running in a half-marathon. They thought I was nuts and wished me the best of luck and told me that they had absolutely no interest in doing it with me. I tried to convince them by explaining that all they have to is build up to it. I mean, can I run 13.1 mi right this min? Nope. But will I be able to come race day? Heck yeah. This line of reasoning didn’t seem to work. At the time, I felt that they were selling themselves short by saying that they couldn’t do it without even trying.
And I was doing the same thing when I told my old Drill SSG that I could not do a whole marathon.
So, when I was looking through my email today, I found a coupon from Active.com for $20.13 off the entry fee for the Atlantic City Marathon to ring in the new year. That’s when I really thought about it. Ok, so the April Fools Half was going to be on 7 April 2013. That’s 99 days and counting from today. The Atlantic City Marathon is on 12 October 2013. That gives me 6 months between the two races to effectively double my distance. Totally doable.
I guess I get a bit squeamish when committing myself to something because after I say I’m going to push myself to do something, I take it pretty seriously. People can/have called me a lot of things, but a quitter is just not one of them. I’m going to go the distance on this one and complete the Atlantic City race series. I pretty excited.
I think my next goal after completing the marathon is to do a legitimate death race. But, again… Lets take this one step at a time. 😉