Getting ready to rock the ½ marathon, or something

Note: This column appears in the 1/15 issue of The Glendale Star and the 1/16 issue of the Peoria Times

The PF Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & ½ Marathon is this Sunday. The question posed on the front of the packet I received in the mail one month ago reads: Are you ready to rock Arizona? Well, I don’t know. I’m not even certain if I will last 13 miles, and if I do, I am unsure whether that feat in and of itself will sufficiently rock the state of Arizona. We’ll just have to wait and see.

As of right now, I have one more training run left before race day. In physically preparing myself to run a ½ marathon, I am left with one serious question: How does a person run a marathon? Honestly. I just don’t understand. I have been training to run, literally, half the distance of a full marathon, and by the seventh mile, I can no longer feel my legs, and I am left running on a cloud of self-admonition and artificial adrenaline pumping into my ears from my iPod. If someone were to say to me, at that point, “Alright, you’re a quarter of the way there!” I would kill them. Then I would go home. I mean, I know it’s possible to run a marathon -- thousands of people will do it on Sunday, and I think even P Diddy did it once -- I just don’t understand how it’s done.

In fact, one of the most difficult things about training for this race -- besides all of the running and stuff -- is figuring out exactly how far I am going. Luckily, one of my many race-related Christmas gifts was something called a pedometer, which is a device you wear that measures how far you are running. The only thing is, you have to measure your stride length and input it into the device. I’m not even sure if I input my info correctly, even though I spent an hour on the sidewalk in front of our house running back and forth with a tape measure and a calculator. My last time out, I ran for about an hour and a half and the pedometer registered that I ran "pi kilometers." Not sure what that means, but I feel ready!

Amidst all the preparation, race day is going to be much different. I won’t need the pedometer, thanks to the mile markers, which are both a blessing and a curse. It will be near freezing at the start of the race, and warm and toasty by the finish. There will be thousands upon thousands of people there. After the race -- assuming we make it that far -- I probably won’t be able to find my mom (who is coming in from NJ just to partake in this) until Monday. Just being aware of all this going in is half the battle. I think.

Overall, I am just really excited to be a part of something like this, especially with family involved. I remember watching the race on TV last year, and thinking, “Man, I’d really like to do that sometime.” Then I took a nap. On Sunday I’ll actually be there, for better or for worse.

I hope all this training pays off. Just do me a favor -- if you’re sitting in your house at around 11am on Sunday morning, and you haven’t felt “rocked” yet…send help.

Sure, but can he do HALF of that?