Friday, December 31, 2010


My wife has a sister who used to run marathons. Years ago, I asked Mrs. B if she ever ran, and she looked at me as if the question was "so, have you ever done any Satanic rituals?"

"No," she said with disdain. No, I'm not one of those people. One of those runner people.

My wife is now one of those runner people. Three days a week, she straps on her fancy runner shoes and goes running five or six miles along Alki Beach. She went for a run this morning, when it was 28 degrees outside. She said she ran an extra mile, just because it was so clear and beautiful outside.

Yep, she's definitely one of those people.

Part of her motivation is restlessness. Specifically, the elliptical machine we have in our office drives her crazy. The idea of running for 30 minutes indoors, staring at the wall, is unbearable to her. So much so that, sometime around April, she announced she was going to start running outdoors.

And she's done it, bless her heart. She started out slow - there was a training program she picked up for non-runners that she followed. So at the beginning, it was like 2 minutes of running, 8 minutes of walking. She's now doing 11 minutes of running with a one-minute walking break. Some days, she just runs the whole distance.

She's run a few 5Ks. She recently ran the Jingle Bell run in Seattle, when it was pouring rain and the wind was howling. She crossed the finish line soaked from head to toe, but jubilant. We were waiting at the finish line for her. (I wish I could say we stood outside the whole time, but we spent most of the time in a coffee shop, watching people's umbrellas blow inside out.)

She's going to be running a half-marathon in June. I'm so proud of her for keeping it up, three days a week, week after week after week. She didn't start running until this year, in her forties. We were in Oregon recently, visiting in-laws, and she asked me to drive her to a nearby town so she could do her Sunday run. It's what she does now. She has her running playlists, her little runner's cap, her armband for her iPod, a group of other women who run with her. My wife is a runner now.

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