Once I decided to do a marathon, experienced runners came forward to help with suggestions.
I was 42 years old, fifty pounds overweight, started smoking at age 10, was thinking of quitting smoking again. I did it for good.
Someone suggested a training manual published by the track coach at Seattle Pacific University. I ordered the manual.
I started running in earnest indoors on a twenty revolution per mile track. I could barely make one full, once around, one twentieth of a mile.
There was a small group of men, usually about six. One by one they started running outside. When I was the last one running alone on the beautiful composition track, banked, I decided to go outside.
The first time I tried it, I stepped off a curb, mid-block that I didn’t see, fell and scraped my knees and hands and regretted running outside.
After a few days, I was outside again.
Had been running outside for months when I realized how nice it was.
One week, Sunday to Sunday, 8 days, I ran 100 miles in training. It was a grand experience.
It was almost a year to the day from when I started training. The marathon was “here”, 38 degrees, 20 knot winds, raining. The newspaper opened with “The Worst Weather in Seattle Marathon History.”
Many had varying levels of hypothermia.
Did it in 4 hours and 5 minutes. The next 54 marathons and three triathlons were easier.
I ran my last marathon to celebrate my 80th birthday. That was enough for me.
I realized, for me, get a training schedule, follow it. A winner is the person who does what they say they will do. I lost 50 pounds. The best part, now that I finished, was that “I did what I said I would do.”