Last December, I found myself -- an overweight, mid-40's, mother of
three and part-time tech writer -- at the finish line of my first ultra
-- a 50K near Houston called the Sunmart Texas Trails Endurance Run.
Prior to that race, I'd never been an athlete and have always struggled
with my weight.
Last year, I realized the solemn responsibility I have
to set a better example for my children, especially my impressionable
8-yr.-old twin daughters, so I started walking on a treadmill to train
for the 31-mile race. Once I had the ultra "under my belt," I wanted to
pick a goal for 2000 that "raised the bar" -- and I came up with this
hare-brained notion of doing a marathon a month in the year 2000.
Last weekend I completed the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, my fourth
marathon this year. For May, there was no question what my marathon goal
must be -- the Flying Pig.
Like everyone, I am captivated by your race
mascot and the notion of "when pigs fly" -- which must be what everyone
thinks when they see a gray-haired, rotund lady like me line up for a
marathon: "She'll finish this when pigs fly."
One thing I have learned in my personal marathon tour this year is that these races are filled with ordinary people doing extraordinary things -- from the Team in
Training folks, to the wheelchair athletes, to the aged veterans who win
the 65-and-older age group awards with stellar finishes at the stage of
their lives when others their age are settling into rockers.
We can do
more than we think we can -- It's a good lesson to learn from completing
a marathon, and one that serves us well long after we cross the finish