September 23, 2014

The beast that we call the marathon

It hit me last night while I was on the elliptical trainer for my requisite cross training workout…the marathon is a cruel beast.  It's like a bad boyfriend who keeps reeling you back in with promises of better times.  Each mile is a battle.  There are highs.  There are lows.  There are moments of hope and moments of despair.  The training alone is a war.  And then there's race day with weather unknowns, nerves to battle, and any walls that you may come crashing into in less-than-glamorous fashion.  It really is a metaphor for life, as I've heard it compared.  And I just can't get away.  The beast keeps calling. 

Last night I read the article in Runner's World about the Marine Corps Marathon ground pounders.  They're the guys who have run the Marine Corps Marathon each and every year in its existence; this year makes 39 years.  I learned that one is from my area and another went to my alma mater.  Having completed Marine Corps as my first marathon last October, I feel an indescribably strong tie to this race.  Immediately I started thinking about ways to get a bib.  And then rational thought kicked in.  "Christine, you want to PR at Richmond in November.  You can run Marine Corps next year." 

I imagine this must be what drug addicts feel like.  The marathon simply reels you in, hurts you for a while, and just when you're on the brink of despair, you get another hit and the pain lets up.  You feel hope, excitement, and dare I say, euphoria.  And that is where I find myself these days, on the less pain end of the spectrum with glimmers of joy.  I find moments of hope that my training cycle isn't ruined, despite all of my attempts to think otherwise.

And like I saw on one of the most recent videos on "I run for..." on the Marine Corps Marathon Facebook page, I'm reminded that running is "my affirmation of life." No matter how beastly it may be, I'll keep coming back to slay the marathon again and again to prove to myself that I can conquer 26.2 miles, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  The triumph of crossing the finish line alone is enough to bring me back.  And who knows, maybe someday I'll liken the marathon to a long lost friend instead of a beast.

{Christine}

8 comments:

  1. You're going to rock Richmond, Christine. And who knows, maybe Marine Corps will be calling your name in 2016. :)

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  2. This post is marathon running perfectly summed up! It's pretty incredible that in the time span of about 3-5 hours, you can feel every emotion possible!

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  3. Goodluck at Richmond. You will do great! I cant believe the MCM is right around the corner. I just completed Philly half feeling good and ready get some more long runs in.

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  4. this gave me chills - it's a perfect description of what running marathons is like. great post!

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  5. I just read that article about the ground pounders too, so inspirational. And you put this perfectly, it is exactly what happens! Awesome post!

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  6. This made me laugh, because ever since the slow selling of Goofy this year, I've been waiting for that one thing that would have me hit the register button--a free bag, a discount code...it wouldn't take much :)

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  7. MCM is my favorite race ever. I really want to do it again!

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  8. Great post, Christine. I'm glad you're going after the beast in Richmond...and that you'll experience every emotion from now until then!

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