I’ve known for a long time that I would never be a runner. Even as a kid, I hated running with a passion. When I learned late in adolescence that my knees never really developed properly and that my knees would eventually need replacing, running became even farther from my mind. Honestly, that was okay – because I love walking. When I moved to the Boston area, and I worked in downtown Boston (and later, Cambridge, MA), you could get seemingly anywhere just by putting one foot in front of the other. Some days, it was the smarter bet to get from point A to point B, since the local public transit can be somewhat flaky at times. Or, once you discover that the distance between two stops is traversed quicker on foot than via bus or trolley, you just hoof it instead.
I’ve been doing the Susan G. Komen National Race for the Cure (now “Global Race for the Cure“) for almost two decades now, and it’s just a 5K (3.1mi), so it’s a relatively short distance. I’ve walked it in the rain, in the heat, in the cold…I’ve walked it with friends, with family, and pushing a stroller. IT’S JUST 5K. Big deal. I’ve walked 10K races before (like AIDSWALK DC). Again, it’s just a little longer, but it’s not a taxing walk.
So, when I started to see ads for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, I was curious. Boston Marathon? What – you walk the marathon route? For reals??? As it turns out, that’s one of four options. I approached co-workers who had been on my “steps” team for a shape-up challenge at work earlier in the year. They were hesitant. The idea of a 5-miler was fine, and one even suggested that she’d be okay with the half-marathon, but the full marathon seemed too daunting. Even DH reminded me that you really need to train for this type of event. Train how – walking?
I did some research online, both on the Jimmy Fund walk web site and on the Marathon Walking web site, and I came to the conclusion: I could train, but I didn’t have enough time to train to the extent that I really should. There was no way that I could see clear to doing 20mi training walks on a weekend, when we still had stuff to get done (grocery shopping, laundry, events, etc.). Still, I figured I’d had to give it a shot. I’d never be able to RUN a marathon, but I hoped I could walk one. How amazing would that be?
I signed up, with only eight full weeks to train before the walk. Sure, it’s a bit brave and it’s certainly crazy, but the opportunity to walk that storied route AND be able to raise money to help kids with cancer…it was just irresistible.
And thus, it began.
Next up: training and gear.