Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why I Run - Martha

I was on my “short maintenance” (!!!) run of five miles today and was thinking of what I could tell you about how I got into running. Back in the good old days of just being a medical student, with no family/house/job/commitments, it was easy to stay active doing things like racquetball, tennis, skiing, long walks in the woods, etc. It was no big deal to take three or four hours to go off with my friends and have some fun. But then graduation came, I got married to a medical school classmate and we moved from Michigan to the big city of Boston! All of a sudden I had a “real” job for the first time in my life, a husband who was putting in 120-hour work weeks as a surgical intern and absolutely no one I knew to hang out with! Being from the Midwest, I did not find it as easy to make new friends here and thus I had a lot of time on my hands to discover this town on my own. We lived in the Back Bay and I started running along the Charles to take in all of the beautiful scenery...and then I discovered how fun it was to run along all the little brick streets in the Back Bay and around the park. I could fit in a short run after work and still not be too tired to read at night.

Then I finished my residency training and we moved out to the “burbs” (Newton) and before I knew it I had three kids, two dogs and a nanny. Suddenly, it was all I could do to get myself to and from work, make dinner and take care of the kids. Running with two kids in a stroller and a dog on a leash didn't cut it for me. I remember watching the marathoners back then thinking how much fun it must be to be able to just run like that for hours without answering a page or changing a diaper. Someday I told myself...maybe I could do that.

The years just seemed to roll by.. We moved further out (way out in the boonies of Needham now), I came to my senses and found a part-time job at Newton-Wellesley, my oldest went off to college this year and suddenly I found myself with an hour or two of time to myself! My sister happens to be a patient of Heidi’s and she tipped Heidi off one day that I, too, like to run and had occasionally entered the Big Bear Run, which is the one (and pretty much only) local run held in Needham every year. Heidi and I started sharing info about other local races we would hear about and gradually the conversation headed toward how great we both thought “running Boston” might be some day.

Well, I'm turning 50 in a couple of months and thought how great it would be to keep my mind off that thought and have it focused on something more encouraging and positive than how I need to get my bunions fixed before I get too old to walk on them. The more we talked about it the more real it sounded. I decided it would be a great present for my family to give me for my birthday: the support and time needed for me to train for the marathon. They have been great and they don't have to wrap a thing!

So that's my side of things. I'm now bogged down in training schedules and frequent trips to CVS for new bunion pads and Motrin. But I'm really thinking this is going to happen. I even have my 86-year-old mother who lives in a nursing home in Michigan telling me she's going to watch me win on TV in April. That's motivation enough for me to finish!

No comments: