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A Beginner's Journey from Couch Potato to Marathoner: Day 1

February 28, 2017

“You’re running, right?” InterVol’s Director, Nicole Jones Sentfleben, asked me, shortly after learning we’d been chosen as a Charity Partner for the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon.

 

I was ambivalent at first, but Nicole, a long-time marathoner and member of the exclusive Marine Corps Marathon Runners Club, quickly convinced me, citing both the health benefits and the extraordinary sense of accomplishment that goes along with it. Since my only malady is a chronic tendency to hibernate as soon as it dips below 70 here in Upstate New York, I signed myself up.

 

It took me a week, but I finally got on the treadmill to start training. It generally sits all winter, slowly collecting the discarded clothes that I decide not to wear after realizing they no longer fit me. (The irony of this is not lost on me.)

 

But I digress. I updated my workout soundtrack (years out of date), squeezed into my workout clothes, stretched thoroughly, and spent way too long dithering over the merits of a water bottle vs a bottle of water. After procrastinating as long as I could, I put a magazine over the readout and turned on the treadmill.

 

I power-walked through 2 songs and thought I was dying. I checked my time: 7½ minutes. After that, I slowed down and concentrated on my very important reading of the latest Hollywood gossip.

 

I only managed to run through a paragraph at a time, but I eventually made it through the twenty minute goal I set for myself. Bent in half, completely winded and clutching my knees, I whipped off the magazine, looked at the readout, and groaned.

 

A little over a mile.

 

I looked in the mirror at the sweat dripping off me and started laughing, realizing just how out of shape I was. Yet, the more I laughed, the more I realized it wasn't an if-I-don't-laugh-I'll-cry laugh. I was happy — giddy even, with those delightful workout endorphins coursing through me. And suddenly, the thought of getting on that treadmill again didn't seem quite so daunting.

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