The "MM" I wrote on my hand during the Minneapolis Marathon didn't completely stand for "Minneapolis Marathon."It also stood for "Marathon Maniacs" -- a fanatical group of crazy runners that, upon reading their philosophies on running and life, I knew I had to be a part of. All I had to do was run a couple of marathons to join.
A handful of bloggers I have been following for years are Maniacs and one other became a Maniac during the time I have followed her. The more races I ran around the Twin Cities, the more bright yellow Maniac singlets I saw on the courses ... and the more I wanted to join that insane group.
So when I set my New Year's goals in late 2009, I included this on the list:
1. Get sponsored by Brooks.
2. Run a marathon. Addendum: No, don't run a marathon: Join the Marathon Maniacs!
3., 4., and 5. A few other personal things that aren't worth sharing here.
The very basic "Bronze" level of joining the Maniacs:
- 2 marathons within a 16-day time frame, OR
- 3 marathons within a 90-day time frame
The Dean-Karnases level of the Maniacs, "Titanium" criteria (yes, people do accomplish this every year):
- 52 marathons or more within 365 days, OR
- 30 marathons in 30 U.S. states, countries, or Canadian provinces (any combination) within 365 days, OR
- 20 countries within 365 days
The 10 levels of the Maniacs run the gamut, too, and the only shot I stood at joining was doing 2 marathons in 2 weeks. When I registered for the Minneapolis Marathon, I signed the waiver with full awareness that Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota was 13 days later -- and I registered for that race at the same time. And then I went into training and recovery with 100% focus, care, seriousness, and honesty with my body, knowing that I was going to do something with a lot of potential hazard on my health.
So, this weekend I checked off another 2010 goal: I joined the Marathon Maniacs by running 2 marathons in 13 days.**Coming soon: Grandma's Marathon race recap!
**Come on, you didn't think I'd really give up 18 weeks of my life to train for one 26.2-mile race, did you? The only way I could justify running and cross training that much was to at least do two. We aren't called Maniacs for nothing!