This isn’t actually the beginning, of course. My first marathon attempt actually started over two years ago. Halloween 2011. Brooklyn, NY. I’m not sure if it was the alcohol or the viking costume that made me feel invincible but when my friend suggested registering for the 2012 Berlin Marathon, I jumped at the idea. Not that that was the start of my running life either. I ran cross-country all 4 years of high school. I loved it but when I was diagnosed with asthma in college, I thought my running days were behind me.
Perhaps it was the guilt of my third pumpkin whoopee pie at that Halloween party. Or the plastic war-hammer in my hand. Or the realization that my asthma was never going away. Regardless, I finally felt ready to get back into running. So I registered for the 2012 Berlin Marathon the next morning. There were struggles in training but despite them I lost an embarrassingly large amount of weight, rediscovered my love of running, and (most importantly) managed to add a lot more form-fitting, neon-colored nylon shirts to my wardrobe.
In the end, though, my race didn’t go as I’d hoped. Berlin was gorgeous, sunny — surprisingly warm for the end of September. But a knee injury suffered several months prior reappeared during Mile 13. I pushed on, though I knew I was fighting a losing battle. I ran until I couldn’t take another step, then began walking a ways before trying to get my race restarted. In vain.
It may have been the pair of hefty runners in Asterix and Obelix costumes passing me or the fact that my “runs” were reduced to three steps before I had to walk, but eventually I had to admit that my race was over. It was Mile 20. I hopped off the course and took the U-Bahn home.
Now to the present. I’ve just registered for The 2014 Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach. I’m excited. Nervous. Ready. I’ve been running since that sunny day in Berlin but not with the same regularity, the same drive, or the same joy. I’m hoping the next 19 weeks rectify that. So now it begins. Again.