I prefer running the Franconian countryside to nearly any other form of exercise. I will even brave running on a windy day, as long as the sun is shining. But when tree limbs are throwing themselves to the ground in despair, I’m staying inside—I’m not that brave.

I descended into the bowels of the house to make peace with the treadmill. I promised to keep her dusted and to not stack towels on her. She promised to not trip me. I wasn’t sure I believed her, but I had to do something. This is training we’re talking about. And dodging large flying objects in the out-of-doors was simply not on my schedule.

At the urging of my son, I put in the 1978 season of Doctor Who and had a good four-mile run. When I finished, I realized it had taken forty minutes. And unless the space-time continuum had been disrupted while I was running, that looks like ten-minute miles.

The thing that encouraged me was that because of my distrust of Miss T. Mill, I had been taking it fairly easy. My heart rate had been in the high seventy to eighty-percent range most of the time. Which means, I have more to give. Or, at least, more I can stretch out over twenty-six miles.

I am slowly realizing that running a marathon isn’t merely a physical exercise, but it is an exercise in overcoming your own ideas. It’s about letting go of things, such as bad feelings towards pieces of exercise equipment. Most importantly, it’s about conquering your own insecurities.

Any preconceived ideas you had of yourself need to go out the window. What matters most are the choices we make every day. Am I going to train, or wimp out because I’m too “bored” by the treadmill? Am I going to put good fuel into my body, or garbage? Every step, every bite, every constructive thought brings us closer to our goals.

If I could join a  band (without being prosecuted for noise pollution), I would join Superchick.  Their song “One More” has a great line in it: “If I can overcome step one, I can face the ninety-nine.”

Okay, so I had to pause to sing the rest of the song with my seven year-old. But the idea is absolutely spot on.

Later today, I’m going to plug in Doctor Who and log some miles with my new best friend, the treadmill; unless the trees stop falling, in which case, I’ll drop her like a hot rock. I am going to eat things that aren’t “fortified,” but things that actually contain vitamins. I will pray that God gives me the strength to make good choices.

This IS step one. On July 25th, I’ll face the ninety-nine.


Miles: 4

Terrain: incredibly smooth and flat. I didn’t have any pain at all.

TV show: despite my initial protestations, I enjoyed Doctor Who (don’t tell my son).