Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Runners just do it - they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first." -Anonymous's almost exactly two months until I will run my first half-marathon - on September 28th, 2008 in the great city of Toronto. The funny thing is - it is not the anticipation of the race that has me the most is the training.

I realize there are some people in the world who think of running as perpetually kicking themselves in face for X amount of time, but I am not one of those people. Oh sure, I'd like to introduce my alarm clock to some C4 in the middle of a deserted field most days, but once the initial realization that I will get no more sleep sinks in, I am actually excited to strap on my shoes and find a perfect mix of songs on my iPod to run to. I know...I must be sick.

Not that running the race won't be a wicked experience, but I think there is something to be said for having a purpose to train - or focus - on just about anything. I mean, I have not played competitive sports since University and other than the odd competition (which, let's be honest, is usually my buddies and I playing pickup basketball or making up a competition out of some asinine challenge) - the adrenaline is more of a drip than a rush as of late. So, to have a goal, a focus, and to have it count - with real timers, real goals and official results - provides for the training itch to be scratched because IT MATTERS.

Don't get me wrong - I am no Steve Prefontaine, but no matter where I finish, I will train as hard as anyone else out there, and THAT is a rush.

Here is one of my favourite commercials of all-time - it is Lance Armstrong on his bike during his training. There is nothing crazy about the video - but it is a perfect example of that feeling of preparing and working and getting it done whether it is in the morning before the world is awake or at night when the world is tucked in bed:

So...the next couple of months are going to be filled with great runs, early mornings and days when I would rather have an un-drugged root canal than go running. But, the mental side of the challenge - the foresight to see when the run is done, the day is started and your body is thanking you - that will have to push my butt out the door and onto the waiting road.

No matter what place I finish in Toronto or how long it takes - it doesn't matter. All that matters is preparing, running, finishing - and looking ahead to whenever the next one is.