Week Thirteen, Day Four and
Week Fourteen, Day One
To my longtime unnamed friend:
I have to admit, when you said you were thinking of running the Metro PCS marathon next month even though you don’t run now, I thought you were making fun of my ongoing training posts and how much attention I pay to my training and fundraising. Then I reminded myself (once again) that not everything is about me.
But I still don’t get it. You want to run a marathon but you don’t like running. So technically, you want to have run a marathon – maybe to tell people you did it, maybe just to prove it to yourself. Either way, I think that even if you manage to finish the 26.2 miles without injury, you won’t really enjoy it.
See, I think you view running a marathon without training as akin to eating your dessert without having any vegetables. But I was thinking about that as I ran thirteen miles on Saturday and at first I thought it was more like having the frosting without the cake. But even that’s not it. It’s more like having the birthday candles and no cake or frosting at all.
Yes, race day is pretty awesome. You are out there waiting with thousands of other people for the signal to go, there’s people cheering and holding up silly signs, and at the end you get free food and even a medal. But as fun as race day is, I don’t think that’s what a marathon is about.
I think a marathon isn’t about whether you can slog through 26.2 miles on one day. I think it’s about the months of dedication and training you put in before that day. It’s about realizing that you’re wiped out one day (like I am today)and making the decision not to run four miles and knowing you’ll still be on track. It’s about early to bed Fridays and looping the lake in the dark and chafing and blisters and foam rolling and getting up the next day and tying those shoelaces again. It’s about laughing and crying with the friends with whom you train. It’s about countless miles spent in your own head facing your insecurities, fears, hopes and dreams.
My primary concern about you running the race is still the very real risk of injury you face. But more than that, I hope you decide not to do it until you have the time and desire to train for it. Because even though it seems like the marathon is just one day, in truth it’s the months of growth that you gain along the way. Because in the end it’s not the fireworks or the medal or the cheering crowds that make the marathon; it’s what you’ve given to yourself to get there.