STM is a cyclist. He never, ever calls himself that, however, he calls himself a "biker," but he is so far from the image a "biker" conjures up, let's go with cyclist. He rides hard at least three times a week, sometimes 60-70 miles, looking for hills and challenges and loves to pull up on the pedals with his special shoes, working every muscle in his legs. He comes home from this rides happy and good tired, endorphins rushing through him. He often jokes that the easiest part of his weekend, is his 60-mile, uphill ride. I never really understood that, because I am no athlete, although I am a long-time walker, and I do love the time I spend doing that, but one hour a day is enough for me.
Kathleen and I decided it was time to do the marathon again, now that we're both in our 50's. She has done it seven times, twice with me, but our last time together was when I turned 40. I'm starting to get what Stan means, or at least remember. The Portland Marathon is October 6th, so we're doing one long walk a week now until then. On Sunday, we walked 15 miles, it took us 3 hours and 20 minutes, and those 3 hours and 20 minutes were easy in comparison to what I would have been doing during those hours, had I been home. There is good tired and there is just tired. Good tired is such a different tired from the tired that comes from "doing" sometimes very little in a day, but having "conversation" after conversation about things like chocolate covered donuts with sprinkles and exactly what time we're leaving to go to "New Target."
Kathleen and I have been walking a few times a week for fourteen years. Life never fails to provide plenty of things to talk about, and it's fun to have these long walks to get the extended version of every story. "Start at the beginning and spare no detail," we say to one another. I don't think there's a chance I'll turn into an athlete at this point. I don't even know if I'll do another marathon after this one. Going back to my one-hour-a-day walks will probably suit me just fine, but for now I'm really liking being good tired.