The Boston Marathon is over. Twenty-six and two-tenths of a mile. Training for such a run takes endurance, and finishing it does, too, especially this year when finishers imagine (or remember) the bombs that two young men allegedly set at the final yards of the race a year ago.
The Wickeds are talking about our own endurance challenges over the years (and some might have lasted years).
Edith: I actually ran the Boston Marathon in 1998 (for the first and last time). I trained and trained and trained. After a certain level of fitness, running is almost more of a mental challenge. Yes, I can run two more miles. No, I’m won’t stop and walk, not untiI I reach the top of the hill. Sort of like writing a book. Yes, I can write another scene today. No, I will not stop to check Facebook or put in a load of laundry until I’ve met my 1000-word goal.
I trained and ran the marathon with a good friend, which made all the difference, but the farthest we had run in our training was twenty miles. Harold and I pulled and pushed each other along the route on Marathon Monday, and during the last mile we got through it by counting out loud in Japanese, startling more than one bystander. But we crossed that fabulous finish line in five hours, sixteen minutes, with smiles on our face.
Sherry: I’m a walker not a runner. My most challenging walk was when we were stationed in Monterey, California. At the time there was a walk in association with the Big Sur International Marathon. Once a year, for the marathon, they close one lane of the Pacific Coast Highway. One of the most beautiful drives in America. My friend, Stacey, convinced me to do the walk with her. We did some training — our longest walks around five miles on the hills of the Naval Post Graduate School housing area, La Mesa.
The morning of the walk we got up at four and Bob dropped us off in Carmel. From there we took a bus to the starting area. The morning was cool and a bit foggy when we started. There were musicians all over the course. Driving PCH is spectacular but walking it was breathtaking. A soap opera star ran by us — his rugged good looks intact. We did the two additional spurs of the walk for a total of 11and 1/2 miles. Just when I thought I couldn’t make it some drummers and dancers spurred us on. It’s one of my fondest memories among many from living in Monterey.
Jessie: I think one of my proudest endurance challenges is parenting. With four kids, each spaced four years apart, I have been actively parenting for a lot of years. It is a venture that never ceases to challenge and amaze me and although the responsibilities change over time, they never really end, for which I am very grateful.
Julie: I did a half marathon a few years back. I will never forget driving with my sister right before my first long run (10 miles). It was 10 miles to the next exit, so we agreed to see how long that was. We were driving for a long time, and she leaned over and said “this was a mistake, wasn’t it?” I did finish the training, and did the run. A big accomplishment I never plan on repeating. Occasional 10Ks maybe, but I am awed by long distance runners.
My other endurance test? Getting my first novel finished. 7 years. It is in a drawer. Another blog post for another day.
Barb: It seems like I’ve spent half my life saying to people, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” I’ve said it about building businesses, I’ve said it about writing books, getting books published, supporting books. Raising children is a good one, Jessie. Life. If you’re lucky, it’s a marathon.
Liz: I’m no marathoner, Edith, but I did complete two 5K obstacle course races last year. I’m usually not a runner, but I felt like I needed to do these. And they were great! One was with Julie :) Another one coming up this year. And like Julie, my latest novel has been a huge test of endurance. Oy.
Readers: What’s been your most difficult, or most successful, endurance challenge?