Life is not easy. The marathon is not easy. This is no coincidence.
The marathon is not the half marathon. Admittedly, the half is a beautiful distance. It is just not the same as the full monty. It’s challenging, but not too challenging. It requires significant training, but no 20-mile long runs. Sure, the sticker still looks good on your mini-van, but not as good as the black and white 26.2. The reaction from friends is still sincere amazement, but the internal knowledge of accomplishment will never equate.
My love of running and my memories are of the marathon. I recall each: my first in San Diego, a top-American finish at L.A., my Olympic Trials qualifier at Grandma’s, my fastest in New York and my win on Kauai. There were a few others and I remember them each with the distinct of ex-lovers. You just don’t forget a marathon because it doesn’t let you. Every single one hurts in such a special way that it brands a moment on your memory. I couldn’t breathe, maybe I couldn’t speak, I once failed to believe that a finish line existed and yet I finished every one.
Life is like a marathon. To do it right requires the guts to set the goal, the dedication to prepare for it and the fortitude to power through the low points. The starting line is your time to perform and only then does the real dance begin. They shoot horses don’t they? But even the horse gallops through the half. In the marathon she tires in the latter stages of the derby and must push towards the finish. In Kauai this requires an extra being of crazy to attack the hills and ignore the September elements. Oh, but once the body feels the pull towards the sea and you know that you are going to finish. The beat builds. All of that work and that entire struggle come to crescendo. It’s everything.
The full marathon may be ripe for your next adventure, while half marathon can be a step in the great process towards finding your limits. Let us all find our limits in 2017. Let us all live uneasy.