Some decisions are made before you realize it. You tell a friend you'll try to stop by a party, but you never write it on your calendar. You look into your sweethearts eyes across the length of a car's front seat and whisper, "I think I'm starting to fall in love with you" but you already know .
For me, running a marathon was one of these decisions. I started running in 2007 out of peer pressure and the eternal desire to lose a few pounds. I'm not particularly competitive, but when my sister started running and ran a marathon in that same year I figured it would only be a matter of time before it was my turn. The next year I ran a ten miler, and I thought a half marathon was next. On my way (but in no hurry) to 26.2.
Then I had a little back pain, which lead to a lot of back pain, which lead to the emergency room. At 27 it looked like my marathon dreams were over - I had a herniated disc in my back and walking was my immediate challenge.
The pain of the herniated disc was trumped by the pain of a broken heart. I was dumped and i was stuck flat on my back. In my self pity, I cried into my beer more than once about how I'd never love or run again. It was a dramatic, selfish, and contemplative time. As my heart healed, my back healed too and I started running again. Maybe I ran farther or faster. Maybe I was trying to prove that I was not broken, or just trying to lose the 10 pounds I gained during my sad and injured summer.
I wasn't broken. Not my back and not my heart. In the 4 years since, I have had so much love and so many miles. I started slow but then a 5k, 8k, 10k, 15k, a half marathon. Another half marathon.
The decision was made in 2007 that I'd run a marathon. 2013 is the year I'm doing it.