A couple of months ago in a fit of not-so-youthful exuberance/possible stupidity I signed up for the Sehgahunda Trail Marathon in Mount Morris. Yes, a trail marathon. That means running through the woods, not on roads…which is actually better for the joints, but sounds more awful.
I did a full marathon about eleven years ago, when I was about fifteen to twenty pounds lighter, and it was rough. I’ve actually become a more experienced road- and trail-runner since then, which does not change the fact that I’m older and fatter. So I am comforting myself that I’ve traded youthful exuberance for canny wisdom. The fact that I am paying to do this speaks against the wisdom part, though.
I’ve wanted to run another marathon for a couple years now but I’ve held back for reasons both practical (busy work schedule) and emotional (cowardice). But late in 2015 I decided I was out of excuses. I’m solidly in my late thirties and if it’s ever gonna happen, now is the time. I’m comfortable with the half marathon, I’ve done enough trail running that I’m at least not a novice…and so I was overcome a potent mixture of optimism and fatalism. Do or die…or try, anyway. That sounds like something a less determined Yoda would say.
So yesterday I ran a 7.75 race in the snow, slow and steady, imagining myself on the trails and gullies of Letchworth State Park where Sehgahunda takes place. The idea was suddenly immediate and somehow less overwhelming. There is no try, only do.