Why I started running…

18 October 2006

I always wanted to say that I’ve accomplished something noteworthy, and as a legitimate mid-30something, I am a perfect candidate for a midlife crisis.

Yes, I said mid-life.

You see, according to most sources, I have quite literally reached the middle of my life. I prefer the Social Security life expectancy table, which is as daunting as it is oblique (as all government documents apparently should be). According to this table, I have lived 36 years and have (statistically speaking) approximately 40.38 years of life left. Other tables give me fewer years, so I’ll take this one.

My Life according to the actuaries at the US-SSA.

Now, the Social Security table also says I have a 0.001770 “death probability.” I have no idea what this means, though somehow I expect it has something to do with the equations that will someday result in my paltry Social Security check. But I digress.

The point is, governmental actuaries consider me to be half-way to the grave. Time to do something.

Ambition divided by Naievete squared times mid-life crisis = runner

I chose running because it sounded like something easy to do. You just buy a decent pair of shoes and off you go. More to the point, running an actual marathon had the advantage of sex appeal, a key factor in any mid-life crisis worth its salt. A marathon is also a nice life checklist item. Right up there with sky-diving, just less insane.

Mind you, I had no real clue what I was in for, just a vague sense that running a marathon would take commitment and would be pretty hard.

I found a group interested in training for the 2005 Disney Marathon. 6 months before the race, I bought a so-so pair of New Balance shoes, doned my best baggy basketball shorts, and ran two grueling, exhausting miles. I immediately wondered if I’d ever make it.

So how did you get started?

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