Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Could I ever run a marathon?

I pondered that question yesterday as I pounded the pavement in 58-degree weather. (Gotta take advantage, right?) It was the first time I had truly been running since I got sick over a week ago, and I managed 4.73 miles in 47 minutes. It felt good. Really, really good. But could I ever run 26.2 miles? Geeze, louise—I just don't know.

It's true that I ran the Chicago Half Marathon in 2009, and I'm currently thinking about running the Indy Mini (another half marathon) this spring. But still, 26.2 miles? I really don't know if I have any interest. Training for 13.1 miles was pretty intense, though I can't say it wasn't a great experience. But I distinctly remember mile marker 11. That's when my knees and ankles started to complain, and at mile marker 11 in a full marathon—you've still got 15.2 miles to run. But here's my dilemma: If I train for a marathon specifically, could I condition my body to move past that painful mile marker? And then... is it worth it?

Of course, I've been contemplating the marathon because they've been in the news lately. Particularly the ING New York City Marathon. And I must mention that the female winner ran it in 2:28:20. To put that into perspective, it took me 2:21:03 to run 13.1 miles in the Chicago Half Marathon. So, yes...I'll write what we're all thinking: "Good LORD, woman!" I am thoroughly impressed. Really, she's amazing. (NOTE: The leading male finished in 2:08:14.)

Perhaps certain people are just born to run the marathon. Born to Run author Christopher McDougall would suggest that we all were. He recently expanded on this idea in a New York Times blog post, suggesting that our ancient relatives existed simply because they ran the marathon. Translation: ran in packs over great distances just to find that week's dinner. So, in essence, we should all be capable of finding our inner marathoner.

I believe him, I still just don't know if I want to. I kind of enjoy my short runs, peppered here and there with slightly longer runs. Not only are they great workouts, but they give me a chance to enjoy some really great things. Can you do that when you're on the hunt for mile marker 26.2? Can you run past some beach grass and notice fallen leaves tangled within?


And can you hear the sound of untangled leaves crunching beneath your feet as you run by that beach grass? Maybe some day I'll find out. Or not.

Question: Have you participated in a marathon? Why...or why not?

4 comments:

Meganne said...

I'm impressed you made it to Mile 11 before getting tired during the half marathon - I got to Mile 7 and was finished. Running a half-marathon (or a marathon for that matter...) is a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience, if you catch my drift... :)

When you run the Indy Mini, stay with my parents - they are pretty close to the start line and you wouldn't have to wake up super early! You could have part of the house to yourselves! Let me know what the Hoffmans can do to help. xoxo

Heather said...

Hello! I just found your blog through the HLB site. I definitely think you should run a marathon! I said I "never" would but am less than a month away from my first! I ran my 1st (of 3) 1/2 marathons in Feb. of this year. So far I am really loving marathon training! I don't know about the "born to run" theory. I need to read the book, but I definitely trained myself to be a runner. There's nothing natural about it for me! :) But I sure do love it!!

I'm looking forward to reading more from your blog!

TARA said...

Thanks for reading, Heather! I appreciate your motivating comment! Send me a note when you complete your marathon—I'd love to hear your results! AND GOOD LUCK!

Josh Scully said...

Hi Tara!

Great posts!!

When you finally decide to do a marathon :-), look me up and I can get you some pointers!

website: www.online-running-coach.com

email: smartrunning@sbcglobal.net

Josh Scully (friend of Cari's)

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