Sara and I have been dating for just over one year, and in two months we'll be running in what will be my first marathon. She's been running for years and has participated in marathons all over the country, but I'm pretty new at this. Until three months ago, I don't think that I've run a step since they forced me to in high school gym class.

That was until Sara asked me to join her on one of her runs, after which I found myself wheezing and nearly losing my lunch. It was then and there that I decided I wanted to be healthy enough to be able to do anything she can, and that was when we agreed to run the upcoming Portland marathon together. At that point it was five months away, and I had a lot of training to do.

As anyone who has visited the Pacific Northwest knows, it rains a lot here, so I decided immediately to go out and invest in a treadmill. Somehow I knew that running was going to become a big part of my life, so I knew that I needed something that could provide me with the workout I was looking for, and that would last for a long time.

After searching around on the web, I came upon the XTERRA Trail Runner 6.8, and I was sold. It's fantastic lifetime warranty, eleven program varieties, and durable construction were everything I was looking for. Not to mention the built in speakers and audio jack for my phone, which is nothing short of cool — I've got to have a soundtrack to my workout.

Two months later and I'm feeling better than I ever have. With three months to go, we're already talking about how I'm ready for what we're calling "the Big Day".

And Sara has no idea how big the day will really be. Today I made another big investment that I hope will also last a lifetime, and I plan on dropping on one knee the moment we finish the marathon and slipping it onto her finger.