With the exception of a few males noted in an earlier post, you have to be committed in order to run a marathon. Essentially, it is a relationship. Not just any relationship, but one of those good old-fashioned love/hate relationships. Sometimes you love running and sometimes you just hate it, but you can never get enough of it.
Let me analyze this relationship for you. The “love” comes from the euphoria of running along an isolated, not-so-well-lit road at 6:00 in the morning. Yes, I did say euphoria: a profound sense of well-being as described in the dictionary. Okay, the road could have had better lighting and maybe it would have been nice to sleep in, but once you are there on that road running you don’t really think about those insignificant details. You just think about how great it feels to propel yourself in a forward motion at a relatively decent pace. As you look in the darkened windows of the homes that silently fly past, you think about how proud you are of the fact that you managed to be awake and out on your feet before the rest of the city has even blinked an eye. As those few early morning commuters drive by effortlessly, you wonder if they are thinking: “wow, that person must have some dedication to be running this early.” Then, as you finish those 3, 5, 9, 12 or 15 miles (whatever you desire), you just feel completely refreshed in mind, body and spirit.
Well, if it’s so great to run, then why isn’t everyone doing it? Okay, so I just started with the list of pros. There are a few cons to running too, especially when you are training to run a very long distance. I will give an example. Last night my husband and I attended a Coast Guard function at an awesome pizza restaurant. “Sounds fun and I love pizza” I thought to myself. Then I had the realization that I had to get up the next morning at 5:00 am so I could go run a whopping 9 miles. I sit down and look at the super cheesy pizza in front of me and say “I wish they had pasta here.” Oh yes, it was delicious… too delicious. I ate 2 small pieces and realized I should stop if I didn’t want to have a lump of cheese sitting in my stomach. Then I watched as everyone around me enjoyed a cocktail or a beer and I felt like I might as well have been pregnant again. Last, but not least, we said our farewells at 8:30 pm so I could get home and crawl into bed. Yes, very lame I know. So, to be a long-distance runner, you might as well join the ranks of the senior citizens. Not just because you have to watch what you eat and hit the early bird dinners, but also because your body creaks and cracks and you have to limp around while saying “ooh, ouch, eek.”
Still, why doesn’t everyone run a marathon? Because 26.2 miles is a really, really long ways when you don’t have a car. It is the distance from my house to the Jacksonville zoo for crying out loud! It takes us an hour to drive to the zoo! So, if you do decide to run a long race, here is one tip: pay for the registration and your hotel first and then start training. You need to have some incentive to keep going. 🙂 I just thought about finishing those 9 miles today because Fay didn’t have a chance to live a full life… myeloma took it from her. I want to give others a chance to live longer.
Cocktails, beer, super cheesy pizza are over-rated! These sacrifices are temporary, making a difference to save lives will last a lifetime. Just keep running and I’ll see you at the finish line.
Heidi, I just found your blog and am getting caught up with your life. You are simply amazing!!