I remember when I first ran 4 miles at once…I was elated, then came my first 10K...no words to describe that feeling. There was a woman at work who ran 11 miles on weekends!!! I couldn’t grasp that concept, it was so incredible! But over time the miles came, the distance increased and I was no longer in awe.
My first marathon was more a celebration than anything else; in fact it was nothing but a celebration. The idea of being able to “be” around to run the Philadelphia marathon 2002 was my motive to get through what I had to get through. And the feeling of completing it was incredible. I vowed to keep the same enthusiasm and respect for it always.
But although the feeling of running a marathon has remained to some extent as euphoric, it has also become more frequent, with less fanfare than my first one.
Make no mistake. The training remains the same, the commitment strong and the respect for the distance untouched. But the euphoria of the first time has decreased. In some strange way and to my delight the distance takes away the pressure of the pace. I no longer envy the pace, I admire the endurance.
In addition, the respect for other people’s efforts has increased. I appreciate more the determination and commitment. The overweight woman at work who tells me about her 20 minute mile on the treadmill gives me the same excitment that the one who ran 11 miles on weekends did years ago. Gratefully, pace and even distance have lost interest.
So, after going back on forth, and getting through the first week of May which was going to be crucial to my decision, I have decided to run the Vermont Marathon.
What is different is that although I fear the distance and will give it the respect that it deserves, and will work as hard as I can, I have no true expectations and (some might not believe it), I have not thought seriously about what my time might be. Maybe it is going back to the roots of running a marathon just for the pleasure of knowing that I am here to run it. And for me, that is enough. You don't need to believe me.
3 years ago