Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Part the Third: How, Why, Where

Okay, now that I feel you have sufficient backstory, I’m ready to talk details, like the title says. Where, How, and Why.

The first two are easy. Where is Anchorage, Alaska, on June 18th, for the “Midnight Sun” marathon (and hey, look at that, I stuck in a When for free). Actually, it’s not at midnight, though there will hopefully be sun, which there wouldn’t be if it were at midnight, since Anchorage is below the Arctic circle. If you see what I mean.

I know next to nothing about the Anchorage marathon, and chose it solely because it’s an excuse to go to Alaska, which seems like an awfully neat place to be, especially if someone is paying for you to be there, which will be the case.

Which leads me to How. I’m doing Team in Training, which is a part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The deal is, I raise a buttload of money for them ($4,000) and they provide a coach, nutrition advice, shoe shopping advice (“oh, honey, those shoes are FABULOUS, you absolutely must buy them”), a group to train with, travel, accommodations, and registration for the event and the extras (like the all-you-can-eat pre-marathon pasta dinner—don’t lie, Kate, now you’re jealous).

In short, 25% of what I raise goes towards my training, and the rest is charity goodness.

So the only remaining detail is Why, which, given my last post, is kinda tricky to answer.

Okay, so here’s the story. About three weeks ago, when, by the way, it was still gloriously, and unseasonably warm (my warm and fuzzy thoughts about the Arctic were considerably dampened this morning when I learned that it was their fault that we are now suffering through seasonably cold weather here in DC. Screw you, Arctic cold front. Screw. You.)

Sorry, tangent. So, a few weeks ago I woke up somewhere around ass o’clock in the morning to pee (which, by the way, is what they don’t tell you when they’re talking about how healthy it is to drink eight glasses of water a day) and I couldn’t get back to sleep. It was just after New Year’s, and I started thinking about resolutions, and what 2004 had been like, and after lying around for about 45 minutes, I decided to get up and watch the sunrise. (Don’t ask—no, this is not normal behavior for me).

So I got all fleeced up, grabbed the ol’ iPod (best gadget EVER), and headed outside, since my north-facing window wasn’t going to provide much of a show. You can’t really see much sky on the other side of my building either, so I started walking south on Connecticut. About halfway to Dupont Circle, there’s this spot that’s at the top of a hill, and you see the Washington Monument in the distance. During the day, the street is packed with cars and the sidewalk is jammed with people, but that morning everything was still closed, and it is was almost completely empty, except for parked cars lining both sides of the street. I parked my butt on the sidewalk, and waited for the sun to peek through.

I was still in the midst of my very deep and philosophical “what shall the new year bring” reverie, and I realized that 2004 was pretty much a big wash. I mean, I had some fun, but I didn’t really do anything. I worked in the same job I’d had since I graduated, which is fine, but not really going anywhere; I didn’t meet new people or start new things. I didn’t even read that much. I did watch a lot of TV though, so, you know, that’s something.

So I pulled out my “To Never Do” list, because I think it was Sean Connery originally who said “Never say never”, and anyway, I bet Jean Valjean had “become Mayor” on his “Jamais Faire” list, and look how he ended up, and right there, on page 47 of the spreadsheet, (sorted alphabetically), just as the first real rays of sunlight were showing behind the Washington Monument, I saw it: run a marathon. And right then and there, I stood up, and started running. I ran straight through downtown to the Mall, past the Lincoln Memorial, out to the Roosevelt Memorial, and back to Georgetown, which, it just so happens, according to Mapquest, which I checked after I cabbed home, is exactly 26.2 miles. I know, crazy.


Okay that story is not even a little true. Or, well, it’s at least, let’s say, 94% fake. (What gave it away? Was it the 47 page “To Never Do” spreadsheet? Or could you tell as soon as I said “watch the sunrise.” Because seriously, y’all, I don’t think I’ve ever done that voluntarily.) But when my life gets turned into a Movie of the Week starring Jessica Biel (of 7th Heaven fame. Yeah, I know, I was hoping for someone better, too, but Nathalie Portman doesn’t exactly run to the phone when Lifetime is calling, y’know?)…

Man, I have got to watch out for those parenthetical tangents.

Anyway, my point is, that makes a much better story than, “I was bored at work, and I thought, why don’t I run a marathon? Yeah, I should do that. K.” But that’s essentially the truth. I mean, there’s a little more to the story, like the fact that I’ve been a total exercise demon for the last five months, going to the gym five or six times a week, and the idea of having a new goal to keep me motivated seemed like a good (and realistic) plan. And I do want to do things in 2005 that I’ll be proud of.

So there you have it. I’m going to run a marathon and raise $4,000.

But this is turning into the LONGEST blog entry EVER, so I’m going to stop for now.


Anonymous Frolicking Filly said...

Absolutely Fabulus!! You will have so many people proud of you,, and Yes, you will be doing something important,,
Seems like lately I have been reading alot about Team In Training and it sounds awesome! I had already donated to another person in the TIT, who is going in honor of my friends son. Congrats and already proud of you.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Silvia said...

Very flipping cool!! Yeah I was also bored, but it's also 'cause my mommy died last year from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma :(
Hopefully I'll see you up there! How's the training going?

9:04 PM  

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