The other day, Megan at Watch MeGo Run posted about Operation Hardcore Fit, which in her words is a yearlong effort to push yourself towards your fitness goals – one big one and several smaller ones to try to achieve throughout the year.

I like this idea of pushing myself toward my goals. Ever since I started seriously considering doing the marathon, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means for other areas of my life. My mom (and I’m sure everyone’s mom) always said if you’re going to do something, do it right. If you’re going to do it half-assed, why waste your time?

So, I’ve been thinking about all the things I can do to prepare, things like losing a few more pounds so that I can run faster. But also modifying my diet so it will provide the best fuel. (Meaning I need to lose the weight now so come marathon training I can focus on proper fueling and not weight loss.) And cross-training to increase/maintain fitness, and strengthening and stretching. And cutting back on my social life during the summer so I am well-rested for all the training.

It will be hard. I know I’m going to deal with people questioning why I’m doing this at all, why I’m going to give up things like late summer nights, beer and who knows what else, and running through a (probably) hot Chicago summer just to run 26 (point two) miles and I’m not even getting paid to do it! I know I’m going to want to talk about running all the time and most people won’t really care. (Sidenote: so happy for running friends! And this blog!)

So why am I doing it? Well, to follow BFF Ultra Vera‘s lead, I want to see what my body is capable of. But I also want to see what my mind is capable of. I know training for and finishing a marathon will be just as mentally challenging as it will be physically challenging. I want to prove that I am hardcore enough to not just do it, but do it to the best of my ability, even if I don’t know what that ability is yet. That I’m hardcore enough to find the limits of my ability … and see how far I can push them. It’s kind of exciting to think about.

Good turnout for Saturday morning’s run. We had everything from a run/walk group doing 3 miles up to
folks doing 10 miles. I’m in the back, second from left. BFF Gennie is directly in front of me.
Also, in order to get everyone in one photo, someone had to be photoshopped in. Can you tell who?
Source: Amanda (TooTallFritz.com), the gal in front in blue.

Related, I had a great running weekend. On Saturday morning I ran with the F’N Runners – 8 miles at a 9:08 pace, which is the fastest I have ever run over 5 1/2 miles. My half marathon PR is 2:22 and lately I’ve been wondering if I can pull off a sub-2 hour half at one of the spring half marathons I’m doing. I felt like maybe a 22-minute PR is too ambitious but after yesterday I’m starting to think it’s doable. Maybe even too modest of a goal?

Also, my BFF Gennie came out to run with us! I am so proud of her. She has so much on her plate, so I know it is hard for her to add running to her life, but I am so proud that she is! And she’s not letting lack of running experience or intimidation hold her back. (Related, Amanda at TooTallFritz has a great post on this topic.)

Anyway, on Sunday I wanted to go for a run – 5 easy miles. Well, we went out on Saturday night. (And I wore actual pants! Not leggings! Sorry, that doesn’t happen often when I’m not at work). I wanted to get a decent night’s sleep, so I wasn’t sure if I would have time to run before I needed to start cooking for Sunday morning’s family breakfast. Well, I didn’t have enough time, so I told myself I could run later in the day, after everyone left.

And when the time came that everyone was leaving, I was starting to think about heading out for a run. I didn’t say anything, but I must have looked out the window a certain way, and my mom said “you’re going to go for a run, aren’t you?” Sometimes it seems like she doesn’t know me at all, other times it’s like … whoa. She really has spent 30 years watching and observing me (and my brothers too I assume) and really knows me.