In my last blog I alluded to some disgusting-ness happening in May.
For those not up on their Ottawa-area athletic calendars, I was referring to the Ottawa race weekend, and more specifically, the Ottawa marathon.
Yeah, I signed up to run 42.2 km. I think I signed up accidentally. Which is impressive, seeing as an entry fee is about $100.
But really, I blame most of it on my first real run of the season. In March I was still in Canmore after Canadian Nationals. I was sitting at my sisters’ dining room table on my computer, idly tapping away at some business or other, when I realized I really wanted to be outside. And I didn’t want to go nordic skiing – there had been way too much of that. So instead, unbidden, I slapped on my shoes and toured Canmore on foot for a little over an hour.
And it was awesome! I felt super good, despite it being my first real run in about a month. I started feeling invincible, and as every athlete knows, that’s a dangerous place to go. The seed was planted.
After arriving home in Ottawa, I went for a run with a good friend (let’s call him ‘Aaron’), and we started talking about our running goals for the summer. About 30 minutes into our run, the conversation turned to the marathon weekend, and despite the fact that the event was over 2 months away, due to the over-eager running community in Ottawa, we realized our only option for action on the Ottawa Race weekend was the marathon (everything else was sold out).
At this point, a third person enters the narrative – one Brad Jones, otherwise known as Dad, B-Rad, or my father. When Brad crosses the finish line of the Ottawa marathon on May 29, he will have ran his 30th consecutive Ottawa marathon. That’s right, 30 years in a row. Brad has ran the marathon for more years in a row than I have done anything in my life.
While Aaron and I debated the merits of doing 30 marathons, we started edging closer to the decision (insert throw-away joke about Lebron James here, if basketball is your thing. If not, ignore).
When it comes to running, Brad and I have a history. While it started much earlier in life when he really liked running and I didn’t, things heated up last summer when Brad and I had a bit of a running tilt going. We ran a few road races, I talked a lot of trash, he did a lot of good running, but ultimately I managed to be a little bit faster, mostly in the last 100 m of races. But it was a ton of fun.
While Brad is accusing me of running the marathon primarily to blog about it (which is at least partially true, but only because I have written critically-acclaimed race-blogs in the past), it’s also because I have a lot of respect for him. If he can run 30 consecutive marathons, the least I can do is make sure I run one with him, using ‘with’ as a pretty loose term here.
Also, it may be his last. He has decided that 30 years of Ottawa marathon-ing may be enough. That he can step back, and let someone else run a few blocks in Canada’s capital. And if it’s going to be his last, I better show up and see if I can at least survive one.
I am harboring no illusions as to the quality of marathon I will be running. While I can run (ie: one foot in front of the other, repeat), I’m not exactly Usain Bolt, Steve Prefontaine, or even fellow FasterSkier blogger Justin Freeman. It is extremely unlikely that I will be challenging Brad for Jones family marathon supremacy. I have actually written a previous blog about how I am not ready to take on Brad in a marathon, but as previously stated, the situation snuck up on me, and things are getting real.
In 16 days and 9 hours I will be standing on the start line. People are continuously asking me how the training is going, etc. But here’s the thing – I’ll be ready to go. Because if I’m not, Brad will never let me hear the end of it. And if the last 30 years are any indication, he’ll stick to it.