Monday, January 19, 2009

Run with the Horses

You know how I said, only two posts ago (or something) that if I feel like I am ready, I will run a marathon? Well, I’m ready. Or more accurately—I know I will be.

On January 3rd, as we waited in the terminal for our flight to Pennsylvania, I picked up the January issue of Runner's World at an airport magazine kiosk.

(Yes, my husband has given me a subscription for Christmas but I had yet to receive my first issue, and knowing how long these things take…well!).

I flipped through the special Jet Blue section advertising marathons they fly to. For fun, I checked to see if there were any marathons on my birthday--August 22nd. Not only was there one, but its very title made the heart of this life-long horse lover skip a beat.

'Run with the Horses' Green River, WY

Run with the horses?! I assumed wild horses. I have been around horses for 22 years. I have seen all breeds and types of horses, including mustangs. But never have I seen wild mustangs running free, in person, live. As a closet romantic whose heart just swells at the sight of any form of natural beauty, seeing wild mustangs—the very symbol of the American west!—running on the high plains, kicking up dust in a great cloud, would probably make me faint with gratitude at the very sight of their rangy, spirited selves. Okay, probably not an ideal reaction to have during a 26.2 mile footrace but..

Run with the horses!

The very name of the marathon was a song in my head. Despite my “disability”, words and sayings can and will take on lyrical qualities and impale themselves within my brain.

Initially I thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be fun to do this? But Wyoming? I'm sure I can't do it." Then I thought about it some more. I have a 10k lined up for March and I am planning to register for the Chicago 13.1 in June. But a full marathon this year? Maybe next year...or...but really, why not? Why not 2009, and better yet, on my 29th birthday? With some research I found out the following:

The marathon is 5 hours away from Denver by car. My aunt, also a life-long horse lover and mom to a teenaged Thoroughbred, lives in Denver.

Yes, you can and do see wild horses during the marathon.

Yes, the scenery during the marathon is to die for.

There are no spectators (Hooray! I am so solitary it isn't funny, and did not relish the idea of people watching me during my first marathon.)

The marathon is one of the toughest in America. Especially for us flatlanders not accustomed to the elevation.

Say what?

But after conversing with the race director by email, my aforementioned aunt, and my husband, I have decided to go for it. I will train properly and if I feel like I am not ready, I will switch to the half-marathon also running that morning.

But I’m 100% sure that, if all goes well, I will be ready. What a birthday it will turn out to be!


Ian said...

Good luck at the Run with Horse. I once saw wild horses in the desert near Death Valley.

Your birthday is a day before my wife's.

This local race has a horse link: Equestrian Connection Trail races 5m, half marathon and full marathon May 3rd, limestone mostly I think

Ian said...

Posted a list of trail races in Chicago area or within "short" drive

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