Friday, May 22, 2015


I am presently training for a half marathon. I'm not entirely sure why. I guess it's kind of because I can, and sort of to prove something to myself, and also because it's good to challenge yourself, and maybe because I wanted to accomplish something of note in running before I give it up for something different because running is so dang boring. If I think about it too hard, especially while I am in the middle of a run, none of it seems quite worth it. I would still be a fine person if I never ran 13.1 miles in one go. Holy poopers, 13.1 miles??? Why am I doing this?? That's so long! So boring! So bad for my knees! (It's best if I don't mention the number of miles to myself. "Half marathon" sounds better. It just sounds like "a run" and not "over 2 hours of the same monotonous activity that sometimes hurts".)

Anyway, where was I? Oh right. I'd still be a fine person if I had dedicated these 6 weeks of training so far toward something else. My novel, perhaps. Or making my home and yard into an efficient, clean, polished specimen of modern dwelling. Actually, I'm not so sure about the 2nd one. I think housework is what I give up first when I make time to exercise (though obviously some of it still does get done since I gotta do laundry so I have non-stinky clothes to run in), but if my bills were all filed and my hedges perfectly trimmed and the path to my front door was a mosaic of pavers instead of a muddy patch of dirt and a pile of broken concrete, how is that furthering the human race any more than one person running for exercise? They both have value, but they're apples and oranges. So I'd still be a fine person either way. But whatever, I'm 6 weeks into a 7 week training so I'm committed now.

I could ramble on about my history of running and what it might mean to be doing this now, and who I have been encouraged by, and what my goals are for the race, etc. etc., but I'll save that for my acceptance speech when they hand me my medal after crossing the finish line at the top of that big hill on Main St. next Sunday. Instead, I'll leave you with this picture of what satisfaction looks like after having run 8 continuous miles for the first time.

But you know what else is a good picture? This picture of what exhaustion looks like after having traversed 10 miles by foot for the first time. In contrast, 10 miles didn't feel satisfying as much as "Oh thank God I made it back to the car and can stop now!"

I hope somebody takes the time to chalk up the half marathon route with inspirational sayings like this one that several weeks ago propelled me on to my fastest 5k time: