What is the Chance of Death?

Eric grew up a daredevil.  He loved X Games, raced mountain bikes, rode skateboards, and did all this rowdy stuff where you could get seriously hurt pretty easily.  Me?  I’m not a risk taker.  I got nervous when my track coaches suggested that I run hurdles.  The best case scenario I could imagine was tripping and falling face first in the dirt.  All the other visions I had involved me being carted off in an ambulance.There’s clearly two different philosophies at play here: Eric focuses on how cool it will be when you land a cool trick, and I focus on what will happen if you don’t.  As a result, Eric is drawn to more challenging and dangerous sports, and I happily run in the gym where it never rains and is always 70 degrees.  I usually joke that Eric is only interested in a sport if there’s a chance you can die doing it.Here’s the perfect example: Eric had gone running about two times before he read Born To Run, the book about barefoot running, ultramarathons, and the Tarahumara runners in Mexico.  To me the idea of running 50 miles across the desert is nuts; to Eric it is a bad ass challenge.  Since then, he has asked more than once, “When are we going to do a marathon?”He says this the same way he asks, “When are we going skydiving?” It comes out of the blue, and tries to do an end run around the part where I have no interest in doing the thing.  But it’s not so much that I think a marathon is some crazy dangerous thing.  People do them all the time.  The thing that I have always been weirdly resistant to is the need to run in an organized race.  Last year, I did Race for the Cure, and I plan to do it again this year, but that’s only because my mom is a breast cancer survivor.  I felt this need to do something, but I wasn’t sure what I could do.  I wasn’t sure how much running a 5K would really help, but I was doing something, and it felt meaningful to me.  It’s the only organized race I’ve run because it seems like a weird thing to sign up for a race, pay money, get up early, and go run when I can do it for free at my convenience any time I want.  I just don’t quite get it.To be fair, when I was doing Race for the Cure, I enjoyed it.  There were a lot of people and a lot of energy that made the thing I was going to do anyway more exciting.  There was a marching band and cheerleaders, and Eric kept racing to different street corners to take my picture. I’d post some, but they were not cute as I tend to get very red in the face when I work out.  Still, it was sweet that he was so proud of me, and when you finish volunteers are kind of falling over each other to hand you fruit and water, which is nice.But 26.2 miles?  That feels like a lot to take on at an age where my body is ever so slightly breaking down.  True to my cautious nature, I’m starting to work up to longer runs with the goal of being able to do a 10K and maybe, *maybe* a half marathon.  Even that is a little intimidating to me because I had a pair of roommates who trained for a half marathon and they made it look intense.  There was a rigid schedule, and I am terrible at following a training schedule. On Wednesday, I ran four miles, and I got a weird bruise in the middle of my foot.  I’ve ordered new running shoes to see if that will help since my current pair have been with me for a while.  For now, the goal is to work up to a solid hour of running and/or a 10K (I run slow for someone who’s been doing it for years).  From there we’ll see.  I find myself more and more open to the idea of a half marathon, but mostly I am open to it while watching Netflix on my couch.  We’ll see how I feel when I’ve run 6 miles, and I’m like: Almost halfway done!  But the thing that has kept me running as long as I have is that I find little ways to challenge myself, and this might just be my next challenge.


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