Sometime around mile seven of Saturday's 10-mile run, one of the ladies I was running with had something to ask me. She's the Loper director, pretty much the top dog, and is also the 11-minute-per-mile pace leader. She's just one of many fantastic people who are in the running group, but one I've been lucky to have had around me as I train for my first marathon.
"Every year we have a banquet," she began, "and we have first-time marathoners go up and give a speech about how they've overcome some challenges to run their first marathon and I wanted to know if you'd represent the Elevens and give a speech. Just think about it and let me know."
She went on to say how running 18 miles in Seattle was a big challenge I'd taken on and met, and how I'd done things the healthy way in terms of my weight loss and the training I've been doing with the Lopers.
I was flattered, really. I thought that maybe next year it would be nice to talk to people during one of our weekly meetings to try and encourage and motivate first-timers to see the marathon training plan through and to encourage and motivate everyone on losing weight. If someone can go from a sedentary, eat-whatever-I-want 300-pounder to running a stinking marathon (!) in four years, then surely it can be done... and probably sooner. I just didn't realize there was a runner trapped underneath the mounds of blubber I carried around.
Anyway, while I thought it would be nice to talk to people in a less formal setting sometime in late 2010, I did not expect for this honor, to speak at a banquet in front of the entire Loper group.
I haven't yet told her but of course I'm going to say yes. I'm honored and would do myself a disservice to pass it up.
Now I have something else to motivate myself during my long runs (and my shorter runs I suppose). I have a speech to write, and I have to create memories that I will use during said speech. And I want those memories to be long-lasting and perhaps motivating for others.
If that can't get me through a run, I don't know what will.