Running in Baltimore

August and Everything After was one of my favorite albums by Counting Crows. It reminds me of the college years, and as I sit watching in snow in October near Baltimore, I am reminded about the song Raining in Baltimore. It is a late track that didn't get any airtime, but it is the sort of song that tells a great story. Tomorrow, I have a chance to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. The weather, though awful right now, seems like it will be perfect. The event seems organized and ready, and 30,000 people are ready to take on the challenge. There are a lot of stories that I'm sure could be told. Every marathoner has a story about what it took them to train for this race, their first marathon, or the obstacles that they have overcome to join a ranks of being called a marathoner. My story isn't that special, but it started in November of 2002, about ten years after playing my final high school soccer game. I wasn't kind to my body over that decade. I weighed 208 pounds. I still remember the day that I stepped on the scale. I had recently bought some clothes for work that were a bigger size because my boss noticed that nothing fit me anymore. I was getting married in five months, and I realized that I looked awful. In March of 2003, after having been married for about a month, I entered my first race, the St. Patricks Day five mile. This race is more of a sideshow with beer at the end, but it served as the first of many races over the last eight years with tomorrow being my first fly-to marathon. I'm staying with friends in Bethesda. It is great to be in the spirit of someone's home, and not a hotel room on this cold day, but I'm longing to be home. It is hard to be away from my family to do something so selfish as run. Over this last ten years though, running has kept me sane as I learned to be a dad. It has allowed me to lose 30 pounds, and maintain a new level of health. Running has opened doors of community with others, and it has given me some legitimacy to my campaign against obesity in schools. Running has shown me my community through a new lens, and running allowed me to see the God given beauty of the natural world. Who knows what tomorrow has in story for me? I'm prepared physically and mentally, and now, it is time to run.