Don Hosek - Marathon - 9 January 1998

I blame it on Eric Zorn, columnist for the Chicago Tribune and occasional e-mail correspondent. His first column of 1998 was about how he was going to run the marathon as a once-in-a-lifetime event. He added in a throw-away bit inviting his readers to join him and being easily impressionable I checked to see if I would be in town for the marathon and then took up the challenge.

Now a runner I am not. I might once have been one. As a lad in high school, I was a decent distance runner (at last by high school gym class standards) and I don't think that Coach Busse was all that happy with my consistent disinterest in going out for the cross-country team. Pity that.

So here I am a dozen years out of high school, leading a sedentary lifestyle composed largely of writing, editing and design, tasks proven by medical doctors to be not at all aerobic.

I'm 29. My driver's license says that I'm 6'2", my cousin insists that I'm 6'4" and according to the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, a man of heavy build weighing 235 pounds (as do I) should stand 6'9". A Rocky Balboa-esque specimen of masculine physique I am not. Some training will be in order.

Things aren't all that bad, of course. I don't own a car so a fair amount of walking is necessitated by that lifestyle choice. I would estimate that as a matter of course I average 10-15 miles of walking a week. When the weather's warmer I'll usually bike where I need to go, including the 24 mile round trip to the Loop if need be. I figure step this up a bit and do some increasingly long runs each week and see how things shake out.

Dietarily I'm your typical bohak. None of it low fat (and none of it Kosher... fortunately, I'm Catholic and not Jewish). I could stand to adjust my diet a bit but the truth of the matter is that I'm a sucker for a breaded pork tenderloin. Besides, the current combination of diet and exercise has maintained my weight pretty stabily for the past few years: Adding more exercise ought to help, I'd think.