Running a half marathon is harder than it looks…

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I am many things: An improvisational cook, a skydiver, a bungee jumper, a hang-glider, a cliff-jumper, a cave explorer, a New Yorker, a reader, a dreamer, a critic, a coffee-lover, a person who can count to ten in four languages and, of course, an agent.

I am not, however, a runner.

But when my best friend and former college roommate, Katie, told me she signed up for an upcoming half marathon in Napa to raise money for Crohn’s Disease research (an often debilitating gastrointestinal disease from which Katie herself suffers), I couldn’t let her do it alone.

“I hope you’re not doing this just for me,” she said.
“I’m doing it for myself,” I said. (Lie).
“I want to get healthy.” (Half-lie).
“You have to get up at 7am Saturday mornings for training.”
“I don’t mind.” (lie so huge I even surprised myself). “But I am also doing it because I’ve seen how sick you can get and I want to support you. (The only truth). We’ll do it together.”

And I promised myself that throughout the training, I wasn’t going to complain. I didn’t complain when I had to wake up at 6am on Saturday mornings, or on the long taxi rides up to Central Park for running practice (yes, in NYC you take taxis to places in order to run), or even when our practice mileage went from 2 to 4 to 8 to 10 miles plus Harlem Hill.

On the day of the race we crossed the starting line at sunrise. Armed with a pocket Powerbar, I huffed my way through beautiful vineyards, up and down rolling hills and past red barns. In the end, it was an amazing experience, and that’s really why I did it. Writers, agents, editors—we’re all “experience addicts.” Every time I read a manuscript I’m looking to try on a new experience to satisfy my curiosity. In this case, I found out what it would be to call myself a runner. Though next time, I might just read a book about running….