*Notes from a knitter attempting to run her first marathon.
As I look forward to the race in January, I feel a bit nervous. To make myself less so, I am familiarizing myself with various aspects of the marathon. Mostly this involves running sections of the course beforehand. However, I also wanted to practice the whole experience of pinning a number on my shirt, approaching a starting line, and taking off with a crowd. Last week, I got to do just that by signing up for our local Turkey Trot. I even talked our teenager into keeping me company. Although he is athletic, he had no particular interest in rising early to run 6 miles in the cold. All it took to change his mind was the promise of his own pumpkin pie.
He originally agreed to jog along with me, but he became quite excited as we were surrounded by other runners at the starting line. I encouraged him to take off. I didn't want to hold him back in case he actually enjoyed himself and wanted to run with me more often in the future. I stuck to my own comfortable pace, admired the scenery, and took pleasure in the communal experience of running the course with 1300 other people.
The day offered up plenty of practice opportunities. At times I am tempted to speed up when I am near other runners, but in the marathon I will have to pace myself to make it to the end. During the Turkey Trot I certainly got used to being passed, and I didn't even mind. Also, I will rely on the aid stations for hydration during the marathon, and I was happy to see a water station during the Turkey Trot. I would have practiced accepting a cup and drinking without stopping, but instead I got to practice stopping and removing a rock from my shoe! All in all, it was a lot of fun to chat with other runners who happened to be nearby, as well as to hear a few cheers from the sidelines.
I met my boy at the finish line and asked him if he enjoyed himself enough to run with me more.
"As long as there is pie!"