This seems like a good a place as any to talk about a recent fitness-related achievement. I ran a marathon.
It started when this new coworker of mine mentioned that she was toying with the idea of running another one. She had run a few before. This was back in September or so. So I said, "What the hell, let's do it!" I was on this kick of doing things just because I'd never done them before. Still am, really. So I registered. Once I was in, that got her off the fence, and we started training.
We both live in Flagstaff, at 7,000 feet, so that's where we trained. We started by running a 2 mile loop at a nice area called Buffalo Park. It's a dirt trail through meadows and Ponderosa forest. Mostly flat, with a slight dip followed by a small hill at the end. When we started I was still getting used to the elevation. I could run maybe 100 yards before I'd get winded and have to slow to a walk. My colleague was a much stronger runner and would easily keep up with me. As we improved she started leaving me behind. But I improved too. Eventually I got to the point where I could run (slowly, more like a jog) a whole mile without walking.
Meanwhile, I emailed Utilikilts with a poem, begging them to make me an athletic kilt, and old model called the Spartan (not to be confused with the new kilt of that name.) I had gone to all-kilt, all-the-time, since moving to Flagstaff. No pants ever. I discovered that my 5.11 Tactical TDK kilts were actually better than any of my Utilikilts for running: lighter, less fabric, removable pockets. But I wanted an Athletic Utilikilt, and to my surprise, they wrote back and agreed to do it!
I continued training. I set goals (like "1 mile longer each week") and constantly fell short of them. Eventually, though, I could run a whole 2 mile lap non-stop. Then a bit more. Eventually we started meeting in town, running to the park, doing the lap, and running back. That was 6 miles. I was still walking a lot of the return trip. Eventually she trained up to 20 miles. The longest I did was 10, and walked the second half of that. I was trusting the elevation of my training to condition my lungs; the marathon was in Phoenix.
Here's something you may not know about Marathon runners. They think about pooping, way more than normal. Something about running a long distance makes you poop. So we were worried about that. I definitely pooped during my morning training runs once they got to 10 milesnor so. On the course itself, you've got port-a-potties every mile, but if that storm comes on too fast...
We drove down and got a hotel. Dinner was a plain pasta with chicken, hopefully intended to sort of plug up our butts so we would poop in a more predictable manner. Oh, here's another thing they don't tell you about Marathons: you have to put duct tape on your nipples or the chafing from your shirt makes them bleed.
Anyway, I did it. 5:18. Didn't shit myself. Felt awesome.