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.
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?