Friday, October 26, 2012

It's hard to say no to 26.2

I am often asked why I love running organized marathons...especially when I could just put some shoes one and head out for 26+ miles by myself and not worry about expos, getting up extra early, waiting in a corral and battling crowds through the start. True, I could just run the distance on my own or with just a few friends. And on occasion, I do. But that's not the point. 

Yes, a marathon is about running (or somehow getting) from a start to a finish, which sometimes involves running in a circle from the start back to the finish. A little comical. Maybe. We often pay $100+ to spend hours transporting ourselves between these two makeshift locations. And it's often painful, tiresome and sometimes downright miserable. Makes sense, right?

But there is much more to an organized marathon than meets the eye. It's about the atmosphere. The conversations before, during and after the race. The people watching. Sometimes it's about a challenge to beat PRs. It's an experience. Like Disneyland, which costs about the same from what I hear...and it doesn't even have free water, gels or Gatorade.

So naturally, I get extremely excited about my upcoming marathons. Take this weekend for instance, when I was supposed to be running the Atlanta Marathon. As it happens, I never made it to the east coast and I will be missing out on the race. It was a really, really hard decision to make but sometimes I am forced to look at the big picture and just do the right thing for my own good. 

The injuries I collected during the last 10ish miles of my 100k 3 weeks ago decided to stick around a little longer than I would have liked. I've done no running since that race, but at least I no longer walk like a zombie. The pool and the bike have become my new favorite places, but I've obviously missed my running shoes. Up until 3 days before the marathon, I was hoping for a miracle and still convinced I would run, or at least start. It would just work out, somehow. Or...not. Sometimes, I have to listen to the little voice in my head and not my heart (or legs). If I have taken 3 steps forward in healing from the 100k, I'm pretty sure running this 26.2 would have made me take 5 steps back and I am not prepared to be sidelined for so long. Saying no to a marathon you've been looking forward to is tough - but the prospect of not running for weeks post-race is pretty unimaginable. 

Next up: Tucson Marathon on December 8th!!!

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