I just finished watching a DVD called "Marathon Challenge" . It was a PBS program from Nova about a group of everyday, sedentary people who were picked to train for 40 weeks to run the Boston Marathon. None of them had any running experience, and some had major health problems: one was HIV positive, one was 70 pounds overweight, another had had a heart attack 12 years before. No one was younger than 28; I think the oldest person was a woman who was 60.
This was an amazing show to watch. They slowly built up their mileage from a "long" run of 2 miles, to their final long run of 20 miles three weeks before the marathon. They struggled, and some had to stop running for weeks in order to recover from injuries. But by golly, all 12 made it through the Boston Marathon! One woman even had a urinary infection. Lots of potty breaks.
It made me realize a few things:
I am very lucky I do not suffer from blisters. I've never gotten a blister running. I don't know how this has happened, but I thank my lucky stars. I consider the fact that my big toe wears a hole in the top of every running shoe I've owned a minor inconvenience.
I am very lucky I am able to run without having any stress fractures, knee problems, or any other problem except some gut cramps after ten miles. I know my right hip will hurt like heck, but some stretching, resting, and patience will make me feel all better in a few days.
I am very lucky I can run. I will no longer ever consider my ability to run, even slowly, as nothing short of amazing. So many things can keep a person from running, but so far, nothing has stopped me. I will go the distance! A mile is a mile, no matter how long it takes you to finish it.
If you haven't seen this DVD, you should watch it. If anything, it has some great information about what your body goes through as it adapts to running. Our bodies are incredible machines. After watching this show, I feel pretty good about my 5 miler this morning, and I know that on my long run Friday, I will be thinking about all of the amazing people on this DVD. Can you be proud of people you've never met? Well, I am.