One of the hardest parts of running, for me at least, is comprehending the distance that I am asking my body to cover in a given amount of time. 5 miles feels like nothing in a car, but suddenly when you're mapping out a run, you realize just how far that 5 miles might be. However, that is nothing compared to how it feels once you are out on the open road actually DOING 5 miles. Then, you learn just how long the 5,280 feet that make up a mile truly are... times five.
When I first decided to fall in love with running, I was under some grand impression that once I got into the swing of things, running "xyz" distance would become a piece of cake; that it somehow would not seem as long. I was so incredibly wrong. I still feel every single step of my weekday training runs. I still obsessively watch my Garmin or the screen on the treadmill, ticking down those miles. And every time I'm shocked at just how many footfalls happen within the space of one mile.
So, imagine with me how long a half marathon is for a minute. 13.1 miles. Sheesh. How do you even begin to comprehend that??? For me, I know that from my parking lot to my office I have to go 12.5 miles, and that in no traffic, this takes just under 20 minutes. I know that on my bike, provided I don't have a flat, it takes about 45-50 minutes. No big deal, right? Except, that my long running pace is such that a run like this, still 0.6 miles shy of a half marathon will easily take me at least 2 hours and 20 minutes. I think about this every morning on my way into work, and it absolutely terrifies me. And this is after having "run" two half marathons. That distance is still so vast to me that it's incomprehensible most days. I try not to think about the full marathon too much, it tends to make me reach for a paper bag to hyperventilate into. Nothing good comes from thinking about running that far. Ever.
I made the questionable decision to check out what the distance between my house and my parents' house was last night. They live about 35 minutes south of us, but I never knew exactly how far that actually was, just that it's far enough without being too far. I was shocked at what my friend, the google, had to say.
You read that right. I took out my street number and my parents' street numbers so that you all couldn't creep on us quite so easily, and that shortened things just a hair, but yeah... how about that. If something happens and I can't make my marathon, I can always enlist family and friends to play sag support while I run between the houses. Clearly, this is a terrible, no good, very bad idea. Who in their right minds would do this?
Oh yeah.... apparently I would do this, as I've already paid to do so with several thousand of my closest friends in October. Balls.