Monday, November 2, 2009

CI #35 -- Marathons

Ever since Pheidippides sprinted nonstop from Marathon to Athens to send word of the Persians' defeat, spawning the 26-mile race in his honor, people have wondered, "Why the hell would you want to do that?"

Well, Sunday I found out. For all the crazy food items you get to have, obviously. I'm talking about gels and juices and jolts and salt tablets and various other things that are not only socially unacceptable to eat at other times -- you look downright silly consuming them. But not when you're running a marathon. Bring on the pastes!

Yes, it is hard to imagine why anyone would want to engage in any activity where there is a significant chance you'll urinate and/or defecate on yourself. I've spent much of my life trying to avoid that. But it just makes victory all that much sweeter (so I'm told.)

As I stood on the street, hungover from Halloween and watching runners of all shapes, sizes, ages and costumes [My favorite was Green Man. Don't all you people who simply got drunk as Green Man feel a little silly now?] just shy of the halfway point, I realized "Everyone here is a better person than I am."

Sure, some people were walking already (not my friend Gwen though!), but in 12-ish miles, they'd done more than I did in all of October -- and I was sure to cheer these people less heartily.

It was an amazing experience, awe-inspiring, and a lot of fun. This sorry excuse for a New Yorker has been here for 6 marathons, and this was the first one I watched.

My friend Gwen set a goal for herself last year: run the marathon for Team Fox in honor of her father, who has Parkinson's, and all others with the affliction. She did it, and I am actually indebted to her as a result. I don't know if I'll ever run a marathon, but Gwen reminded me of something: you have to set goals in order to achieve them.

Congrats, Gwen! You are awesome. [Go here to see Katie's post about it as well.]

No comments:

Post a Comment