A year ago at this time, I downloaded the Couch to 5k app. Those of you, like me, who have a hard time pacing yourself and running without stopping for 30 seconds will appreciate this app. It starts you off slow, like when you were little trying to memorize the ABCs. You start running for 30 seconds, walk for a minute, run for 30 seconds, walk for a minute, and every week it challenges you. Eventually, at the end of the FREE program, you can successfully run three miles without stopping.
Quick anecdote: When Sam and I were living in Massachusetts, we lived across the street from our gym. It was a ritual to go work out for an hour and then go next door and eat Philly Cheesesteaks because we’re healthy.
Anyways, it was early in my training for a 5k I signed up for, and I was running for a minute and walking for a minute and a half. A personal trainer, this muscle guy with tattoos up the yin yang came up to me and asked, “Are you training for something in particular?” I was a little embarrassed to admit that I was training for a 5k, so I just said no. He then said, “Well I can teach you how to run without getting so tired.” The guy thought I was too exhausted to continue running after a minute when in reality the drill sergeant through my app was telling me stop and go. It’s funny, looking back on it now.
The point in telling you all of this is that I have to really work at my running. Sam has been an successful runner since his high school days. I spent my high school days dancing 3 hours 4 nights a week. I could dance, but I never had it in me to run. I decided to change that around this time last year because I know with the right training and mind set, running isn’t all that bad. Sam signed up for the Chicago Marathon this year, and I had told him I probably wouldn’t be able to go due to work. He was really bummed, but I reminded him how I attended both Boston Marathons he ran in in 2013 and 2014 (I can discuss the 2013 Boston Marathon on a later date, as that marathon is tainted now).
Now, onto the part of how it is very much possible to sign up for a marathon by accident. Watch your step.
Since I was really ticked that I probably couldn’t go see Sam in the Chicago Marathon, I decided to take a look at their website. They do a lottery pick, but Sam claims it’s still fairly easy to make it in the slot. In my head, I’m thinking, I wonder if there are any charity teams out there that would be easy to apply for. This is a hypothetical idea. Sam ran for the One Fund last year in the Boston Marathon, and he raised $9,000 towards victims of the 2013 bombings. It took a lot of time and stress, but he enjoyed doing it. So, I come across the Lung Power Team. They raise money to go towards research in lung disease. My dad had lung cancer so I’m thinking, hey that would be cool if I raised money towards something that is significant to me. So I filled out the application.
Ten seconds later, I get an email congratulating me on joining to the team. This is me:
The way the Boston Marathon works is, it’s pretty damn hard to get into it. You have to qualify, and be, you know, good. If you don’t qualify, you can try to apply to charity teams, but even those are slim pickings. It was a miracle Sam and his sister Emily both made it in the marathon. I THOUGHT CHICAGO WAS KINDA SORTA LIKE THAT. I didn’t know applying for the team meant I was 100% on it.
So naturally, I freaked out. Knowing that running 26.2 miles in my future terrified me beyond belief. People can die doing this. Real fear of mine. I texted Sam’s sister Emily and I swear she should be a lawyer or something because she convinced a somewhat decent runner to go for the marathon when I could barely catch my breath running ten seconds a year ago. I immediately called Sam and started with, “So you know how I said I couldn’t make it to the Chicago Marathon?”
“Well, it looks like I’m running it with you.”
“…….WHAT?!” It wasn’t exactly an excited “what”, it was more like a “what-kind-of-idiotic-thing-did-you-do-this-time” kind of “what”. I explained my situation, and all he could say is, “How on earth do you accidentally sign up for a marathon?”
“Well, if you’re name is Jessie Reyna, it’s pretty damn easy to do that……”
Of course, after we talked it over, he has been very supportive and will help me succeed. I’m actually getting pretty excited. I keep thinking back to my half marathon and how I thought, you know, 13 miles is plenty, I don’t need to do anything more than that. I laughed in the face of a marathon. But now, I’ve turned into those full-on crazy marathon runners, and I’m proud to be here.
With that being said, I’m now officially in the 2015 Chicago Marathon on behalf of the Lung Power Team. My goal is to raise $1,500 and any donation from you supporters would be greatly appreciated. If donating is not in your budget, a simple virtual slap on the back will do just fine.
Here is the link to my fundraising profile 🙂
Reblog, share with your friends, family, and pets. I could use all the support I can get!