no. 12 – how i psyched myself up to agree to a marathon

Why am I so nervous about this? I can write all sorts of vulnerable, emotional things, but this happens to be making me feel all girly and weird on the inside.

I’ve slowly been setting myself up to do something I never do:


I have an aversion to it. It’s painful and hard on my joints. I find it hard to breathe and difficult to get in a rhythm… and the worst part about it is that I get really bored.

But it has occurred to me, that this is perhaps because I have not taken it seriously like I should.

The Top 4 Reasons I Suspect I’ve Been Failing:

  1. No one has been chasing me. When I was in elementary school, we had to run track a few times a week for PE. Ordinarily I walked/ran four laps because it was required, but on one rare occasion, this boy named Matthew kept trying to hug me, so I did a few extra laps!
  2. The building I’m in hasn’t caught on fire. I know what you’re thinking. We’re told to walk calmly out the door if there’s a fire, but I presume that if I were in a fire I might actually run. And I would probably need to run because I’d waste time trying to grab a stupid laptop. I’d cry once outside thinking about all the legal documents I foolishly left behind.
  3. There hasn’t been a”last and final” donut waiting around the corner to be claimed. If you’ve ever worked in an office environment, you know what I’m talking about. If you come in late, you know your butt is gonna run to the end of the hall to get the last donut before it disappears.
  4. No one has paid me to do it. I take that back. I have ran to the time clock a number of times this year because clocking in one minute after 7:07 means my time will register as 7:15 at start of day.

Ok…so I know what I need to do…I  think I just need to wait until 9 am to start.

  1. Break into a very athletic stranger’s house.
  2. Light it on fire.
  3. Grab their car keys.
  4. Run out the door.
  5. Head on foot to the nearest office building maintaining sizable distance from angry stranger.
  6. Run in office.
  7. Find donut.
  8. Scarf it down as fast as humanly possible.
  9. Clock in even though I don’t work there.

Yeah. I’ll be fine. This is going to work. But really. I have thought about it. I can think of a few things that might actually help me. I know for a fact that once I was so angry that I drove to the gym and ran a mile without stopping and then walked out of there a new person. Anger was a wonderful motivator…that one time.

Anger is such a strong feeling. Apparently I don’t like it because I have trouble convincing myself to ever be that angry. I don’t know that I could convince myself to do that one again, but it’s definitely effective.

One problem I have had is with headphones and them flying out of my ears because the cord gets in the way. I figure if I can listen to some really upbeat music I can stay in a rhythm and almost replicate the adrenaline rush of the anger I had that one time. This is sad.

So I ordered a pair of bluetooth headphones and dowloaded some free songs from amazon prime I can listen to offline (see Figure 1.).

Figure 1. Serious Prep Work


Then I bought a really nerdy belt with reflectors on it so that I can store my phone in it while I run and also to confuse vehicles at night about what glowing animal is crouched over on the side of the road (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Nerd Alert


I’ve been fantasizing about running a lot. I like to do it when I’m driving on the interstate. It’s really easy to imagine I’m good at it because I see things moving by so quickly. I imagine how my body should feel to be running 65 miles per hour, and I get really pumped.

In fact, while I was on the road today I was so excited about my new running abilities that when Alina called and told me I was going to be running in a 10K with her next month, a few words came out of my mouth I never imagined myself saying… ever.

Part of me wanted to impress her. I wanted to stand by her. And another part of me wanted to impress me.

In the shortest second of my like, a small inside of me to spoke up. It said, “Yeah, you’ve never run more than 2 miles before but you could probably do it. Come to think of it. It was 6 or 7 years ago when you ran that ‘so-slow-you-could-have-been-walking-‘ 2 miles, but even that was a surprise to you at the time. It doesn’t matter that you’ve been mostly sedentary for years or that you have a few weeks to train. It really could happen!”

That little voice got


and louder

and suddenly…

It said “Remember that time you decided to get your first tattoo and instead of getting a tiny one you covered half of your back? You’re gonna own this!!!!!!!!”

And I said outloud “Absolutely. I’ll do that.”

After I hung up, I kept my eyes on the road and started to “run” again. “Well Damn. I guess I talked myself into it,” I said.

Wish me luck!


Author: Kate Hill

Hi, I'm a 31 year old adjunct who writes in my spare time. I live with my girlfriend, her 13 year old daughter and the imaginary dog we keep talking about. I live in my head, and I like cheeseburgers. Did I mention a warm bath is a nice thing to come home to?

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