It is almost time for me to start training for the half marathon I do every fall. I make a very reasonable schedule, train for 8 weeks, practically ruin my family with my crabbiness, run my race and come home with my new autumn colored tshirt and a Lutheran Jar of Jam.
Joel had another suggestion: train like an ultra runner. "The body can do incredible things, Marth," he told me.
I thought about bodies doing incredible things. I thought about giving birth and I thought about going to war. The one has the advantage of an epidural; the other has the advantage of adrenaline surges when facing the Taliban.
"Ok," I thought. Without the advantage of epidurals nor the Taliban I went to Target, randomly bought a running skort and took off for a training run ala ultra runner: 12 miles without any training whatsoever.
I had a long time to think. I had a long time to pray. I had a long time to wonder if I had enough salt pills and little energy blocks. I had a long time to hope that the person riding a horse down the road was not a hallucination.
I made it. I took every salt tablet I had (8). I came home and ate corn chips. I dragged myself into the shower and then laid in bed to watch a PBS special: mountain climbers freezing to death on Everest. My legs felt like someone had set a slow burning fire to my ankles and stoked it all the way up my thighs.
I got up the next morning and decided... I think I liked it.