Normally I reserve closing my eyes while hitting send for impulse buys on Etsy, but 2 days ago I found myself causally hitting send for something a lot less whimsical than a pair of vintage Mary Jane’s.

With a single click I signed up to do the unthinkable- run a full marathon.

The idea came up at a dinner party a few weeks ago, over wine no less. My friend Katie who likes doing crazy things like run really really far, mentioned that there was an “amazing” (her word, not mine) marathon between Tofino and Uclulet June 10th and wondered if I would be interested in joining her. I casually declined with the excuse that friends were getting married that same weekend and that I would be out of town. The conversation shifted and we turned our attention to our spring rolls.

I actually did think my friends were getting married that weekend, but no, when I checked the invitation later that night it clearly indicated they are getting married on the 29th; apparently leaving the 10th open to all kinds of fools missions.

I could’ve just left it at that, but once a seed is planted sometimes it tickles and itches as it grows. Instead of keeping my mouth shut like a sane person, I found myself mentioning the “crazy marathon idea” to my best friend Amber, who remarkably thought it was a great idea (damn her). I had thought Amber would be the one to talk some good sense into me, but somehow running a marathon together made sense. Again, I think there might have been wine involved.

So two drunken dinner parties was all it took to get me to pay the good organizers of Edge to Edge Marathon $98.60 for the privilege of running 42.2 km. Gulp. Typing the number ‘42.2 km’ after the word ‘running’ just seems unfathomable, if not plain wrong.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy running. I have dabbled in it for a number of years now, which is why Katie mentioned the race to me. I even managed to make it through a grueling 25 km trail run last spring (more on this later), but it never crossed my mind to do a full marathon. In fact , the 25 km run was at the time reason enough to never run again. Ever.

Time has a funny way of working on the memory though. It softens the edges of hard times passed, making them seem romantic and packed with glory. The pain seems heroic instead of, well, painful.  I suppose this amnesia where painful experiences are considered is necessary. I mean how else would Mom’s have a second child? Pamela and Tommy Lee get back together?

Many moons ago, Amber and I were treeplanters. We were young enough that stumbling through the woods with bags that weighed as much as did for hours on end in the pouring rain seemed fun… in a hellish kind of way. Somehow being brave and dumb enough to be a treeplanter, even though is was a decade ago, still feels a little like being part of a small warrior class, enough to get a nod of respect from fellow planters for life.

So perhaps this marathon is a chance to reclaim some of the old treeplanting glory. It’s a chance to see what we’re made of and have one another for support, like the good old days.