I run, plan to run, read about running, map out running routes, shop for running gear and stretch my sore legs in an unladylike manner -- ALL the time. I even got a haircut just so I would have a more comfortable ponytail for running.
It's what I do.
I train usually 5 days a week. So, no, I can't go to happy hour with you. I can't go to dinner with the girls (though I still appreciate the invitation!). Why? Because it's Tuesday. I train on Tuesday. It is written in the plan, and so it must be done. Or because I have to get up at stupid-thirty (as That Pink Girl says) for my long Saturday run, which means I can't go out on Friday. I will turn down a burger or a steak the day before a long run because I require more carbs than that. So I can run. This is my life.
Training isn't always fun. It's a hassle. It's hard, and it hurts. It gets in the way of just about everything. It keeps me from wearing high heels. It means early mornings, running so hard I want to throw up and running so slow that I start to think my Garmin is broken when the miles tick by like molasses. It means uncontrollable napping on weekends and drinking gallons of water every day.
These marathons, they don't train for themselves. It's hard work, and I volunteered for it. But on December 3, I will run the streets of Memphis with my friends. I will arrive at the starting line knowing that I've done all I can do to prepare. On race day, I will be able to look back at 16 weeks of exhaustion, frustration, running through heat, humidity, rain and cold...and say I did my best.
Failure is not an option. This is why I train.