What is it about that challenge that calls some to patter down 26.2 miles?
For me it’s the measuring. Measuring how much and how to give at any certain point along the distance. It’s the holding back in the beginning (for Boston and Steamtown which both have significant downhills to start) and girding up the loins toward the end when every square inch of your insides shout STOP!
I’ve walked. I had one marathon where Peter was directing traffic around the halfway point. I shouted, “I PRed for my Half Marathon!’ I thought this was going to be my break out marathon. The one where I surprised even me! (It turns out, in hindsight, I had already had that one!) I was sure – up to mile 19 where I crashed – that Peter was as elated as I at the good news. Later – come to find out – he turned to his traffic directing cohort (after I passed by), who looked at him knowingly, and said, “Oh my – THAT’S not good.”
And that’s ‘why the marathon’ for me. Because the marathon puts me in touch with ‘me, my mindbody, and the world’ in a way I could never experience if I didn’t experience it.
Those last seven miles gave me a runner’s high I’ve never experienced before or since.
It was my first fullbodied experience of SO WHAT!
Because I was flooded with love: for myself, the folks passing me, the (few) folks I passed, and the joy of companionship in this life quest we’re each and all engaged in.
Now nearing 60 I wonder if I’ll answer that question – ‘Why the Marathon’ – yet once more with – ‘Why not?’