Saturday, September 20, 2008


When my mom died in the spring, one of the things that stuck with me from the experience was the time I spent talking to my Uncle Larry about running. Partly, it helped to keep my mind of what was happening, and partly it served to motivate me.

My uncle is a big time runner, having run in the Boston marathon, the New York, the Marine Corps, and a bunch of others. I, on the other hand, am a very casual runner. My fitness routine (until recently) could be described as "go to the gym a couple times a week to lift weights and do about 20 minutes of cardio". It's enough to keep me sort of fit, but I'm certainly not in the shape I was in 15-20 years ago. But during the funeral, we talked a bunch about running, and I mentioned how I wanted to run a marathon (and oddly enough, at the last funeral I went to, I said the same thing). I think he must've figured it was a lot of talk, since something he later sent me in an email stuck with me, which was "you get to be a good runner by running".

Anyway, I put off and put off getting serious about running, and one day, I guess I snapped.I went and signed up for the City of Oaks marathon here in Raleigh (November 2, still plenty of time to train for the half, if anyone of the 3 people who read this are interested!). I figured if I paid my money, I'd have a more powerful incentive to train than if I kept putting it off, and I also knew that it's pretty easy to say "someday, I'm going to..." and to let that stand in for doing.

It's been a long 12 weeks (I think) of training, and it's hard to believe that I ran 12 miles today as my "easy" day prior to running 18 next week. I guess I'm fitter, and I have to admit, I enjoy getting up at the crack of dawn, going to Umstead Park, lacing up the shoes and running a looong way. It's a nice slice of time where I can contemplate and think "deep thoughts" (of which I have plenty lately), and zone out to a certain degree, becoming one with nature and all that jazz (when I ran during Hanna, I remember coming upon deer who just looked at me like "what the hell are you thinking", and even though I was 10 feet away, they didn't even budge)

I guess if I were to say why I'm doing it, it's probably because my parents were never the most active people in the world, and the last years of Mom's life were spent in and out of the hospital. I'd like to think that if they had been more active (and to be honest, alot of her inactivity was due to various illnesses, not because she was a couch potato or anything), she might have had a better quality of life. But anyway, I guess I'm attempting to avoid a similar fate (and I plan on living a very long time, thank you very much), and part of that attempt is to be a lot more active.

I usually don't get all introspective or confessional in this blog (it is, after all, a food blog, not a "crying in my beer" blog), but I guess it's the runner's high talking.
I'll write about things like breaded chicken breasts and "how to build an immersion chiller" later to make up for it, I promise.

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