Somewhere in the middle of splashing in a puddle of my own sweat, I felt a chilling sense of regret creep up into the back of my mind.“Why the hell am I running so damn far?” I thought to myself as I continued to swiftly place one foot in front of the other. The masochistic form of transportation by my own legs seemed ridiculous when I really thought about it for too long, but I continued to keep on going anyway.
I thought back to my winter holiday vacation from work when I spent my time in coffee shops, bars, and warm houses as I chatted with friends and family. In one of our conversations, I remembered mentioning the 10K that I signed up for.
“Hey, you should think about joining us when we run our half marathon,” a friend had suggested after taking a sip of artisan coffee from her colorful ceramic mug. “We’re putting a team of people together.”
My face had betrayed my initial shock and quickly contorted into a nervous grimace. “Uh–I’ll have to see.” The thought of trudging along for 13.1 miles seemed nearly impossible. I briefly envisioned myself passing out some time after the fifth mile and slowly dying alone on the side of the road while a round of distracted runners kept sprinting past my corpse.
My friend had mentioned that it has been a while since they really ran. However, all I could think about was how about half of the people at the cafe table had already completed a full marathon. They had spoken about all of their hard work, crazy injuries, and long hours they had put into attempting the feat off, at one point in their lives, running for 26.2 miles.
So when I finally received the Facebook event invite for a half marathon, taking place in Track Town USA during the spring, I clicked “maybe,” invited my boyfriend, and then signed us up for what is now kind of my New Years’ resolution.
I responded to the invite by clicking “going” and wrote a comment in the growing comment section. “We just signed up–so it’s a thing now.”
A comment from another friend that appeared in a thread of responses below my own had revealed her excitement for my decision. I couldn’t back out now. I had already clicked the “going” button on the event page, the other attendees had seen, and I was pretty sure I couldn’t get all of my money back if I chickened out.
It was a thing now. I would take the few hours of spare time left in my day, lace up my tennis shoes, and run.