Walk a marathon with me? She enquired.
Hells yes! I responded.
1. You’ll realize (again) how you think differently from the rest of the world. Even my hardcore runner friends thought I was nuts.
They told me *repeatedly* how they’d never be capable of walking 26.2 miles. They told me *repeatedly* how much harder it would be than even Galloway (run/walk intervals). They told me *repeatedly* they didn’t think they could do it. I was convinced I could. Each time I thought: I’m walking the Oakland marathon! I felt badass.
2. Walking 26.2 feels attainable. Sure it’s a crazypants idea, yet each time you utter the word *walk* you can simultaneously say to yourself “How bad can it be? I walk every damn day!”
On top of that (and this was the best piece of advice I received) more than long, long training runs (yuck) walking 26.2 is about time spent on your feet. Early morning ambles lasting 6 hours? That entirely sounded attainable! Training run of 20 miles? Nope, never, I couldn’t ever.
Lift heavy things/set them back down, re-learn to roller skate, climb walls, stand up paddle, strap on bouncy boots—I can do all of it! If you ever see me running then something baaad is coming up behind me. You best run too.
4. Walkers get a medal…and the whole flipping marathon experience. I did not feel ‘less than’ during the marathon weekend in the slightest! Heading into it I knew *I* believed it’s as good if not better—but so did everyone else! I’m not one to care what others think yet will admit the fact I didn’t have to ‘defend’ my ambulating choice felt great.
5. It’s an UNBELIEVABLE sense of accomplishment. I rock at complimenting myself. I kickass at acknowledging all the things I do well and at telling myself (and others) about these stuffs. It had been ages since I’d done anything where people (strangers!) cheered me on in a literal sense and it felt fantastic! I cannot think of the last time I stepped up to a challenge, entirely wondered if I’d succeed and DID–publicly!
As I crossed the finish line, even though I’d achieved my goal of walking 26+ miles and still having ‘energy left in the tank’, my first thought was:
Fun! Nailed it! Never again!
As I told the Child the next morning (when I woke up shockingly soreness-free except my second toes):
I’ll never do another marathon. I love my feet too much.
Apparently marathon-walking is precisely like having a child (who knew?).
A few weeks later and, no nails lost (!) and I’ve signed up for another.
New goal added (finish strong *and* with happy 2nd toes on both feet) and, again, telling myself this is the last time.