For reasons which sounded better inside an air-conditioned building than they did on the River Parks trail this afternoon, I promised my friend Jackie that I would help her train for the Route 66 Marathon.
She seems to think that I am a serious runner, which I probably was a few years ago. (Now? Um, yeah. Hey, while you’re up, would you mind handing me that box of Twinkies? Yeaaaah. That’d be greeeeeat. Thanks.)
Anyway, I don’t want to disappoint her, so after she sent me a text this morning to report that she had just finished the three miles I put on her training schedule for today, I promised her I’d go for a run after my kempo lesson this afternoon. I was only planning on three miles, but I wound up putting in five just because I hadn’t been to River Parks in a while and wanted to take the time to enjoy it.
I think Jackie is going to be really fun to train. She is a professional counselor and a strong Christian who enjoys looking at things from a spiritual perspective, so it wasn’t hard to convince her to throw away all the well-intentioned nonsense that people throw at runners about muscle soreness and injuries and The Wall and heart rate and diet and weekly mileage and all the other mental clutter that seems to distract so many people from the simple, pleasant task of placing one foot in front of the other.
To ensure that we keep our thought in the right place, I think I am going to start each of our runs with a Bible verse or an uplifting quotation that seems relevant to the task at hand. When I was training for my first marathon, I had an AOL blog where I would log each run, along with a useful quotation, and a lot of people said they read every new post just to see what uplifting thought I was sharing that day.
Maybe I should start doing that here. Let’s begin with an old favorite from Mrs. Eddy:
— Mary Baker Eddy
Stay tuned. I’ve got another run on the schedule for tomorrow.