Embracing all 26.2 painful miles, over again

Now, every year I wonder why the hell I had signed up for something so excruciating. Mind you, the pain isn’t twice of that of a half marathon; a conservative estimate would be quadruples. Yet I will be running through the start lines of my 4th marathon this coming Sunday.

I don’t do particularly well at such a distance; past endeavors have whipped me into painful cramping submissions, and I had to finish the rest of the race walking every agonizing step. After every race, that vivid memory was enough to throw my mind off running a marathon ever again, until it didn’t.

Everyone else thought I would fare better at shorter distances. It is the truth. However I acknowledge I wouldn’t be here today if I somehow didn’t find the drive and desire to push forth. I joined my school’s track team, and now I helm it; it was life changing. The impetus was derived from the foolhardy decision to sign one up in 2008. Back then I tried to attempt this distance from a base foundation of nothingness. As I sat at the halfway mark, incapacitated by severe cramps, I look on as all walks of life run past me. Nobody was going to pick me up. I felt I could throw in the towel at that moment. And then life to me I realized, was sometimes hard, and we do what we can to persevere on. Finishing the marathon is a form of self actualization, a higher level goal, derived from months of hard work and physical pain. A seemingly incomprehensible logic that defines the human experience.

I am far from a fast marathon runner (I am guilty of setting unrealistic goals), and I guess I’ll go with an open mind this year, savoring the run without timing restraints. Looking forward to it, I am.

I think that if I never did run, I never did truly live.


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