I’m not running but I’m in a marathon. I know this because once upon a time I actually ran those distances; Halfs, 30 kilometers, Fulls. I ran them all so I know how the experience feels.
The only thing one needs to know about running a full marathon is that it’s long. Picture the longest thing in the world. Marathons are longer than that. Conjure up your most unpleasant memory. Marathons are just like that, but longer.
There are a couple of reasons why people run 26.2 miles. One is to lose weight. This is not a good reason to run; I never lost an ounce from marathons. The other is more subtle but deeply satisfying, it’s the ability to walk in to work the Monday after, the race bling that a volunteer carefully placed around your neck at the end of 42.2 kilometers glinting proudly on your chest and casually say to a coworker “What did you get up to this weekend?”
And then the ability to reply when the same question is posed back to you, “Oh me? I just ran a marathon, your weekend sounded fun though, watching three seasons of Friends in one day, that sounds like something you’ll be proud of years from now.”
But that’s just me. And sometimes I’m a smug jerk. However that is the reason that propelled my butt across more than a dozen race courses. And through even more training runs.
The last reason is less self-righteous but equally subtle. As I mentioned before marathons are long. Endless. There are countless places where you want to give up and just walk. Or perhaps lie down and die. But somehow you keep going through the pain, through the endless kilometers, through the defeating headwind. Afterwards, when sitting alone with your banana, when everything, even your back hurts you can smile to yourself and quietly say “I did that”.
Yesterday I sat down and wrote 1,770 words as a part of NaNoWriMo. It was long. It was hard. I didn’t like a lot of what I wrote. But the important part was that I did it. Today I have to keep writing, even when I feel like I don’t have any more content. However after thirty days of this, I know one thing for certain; sitting alone with a banana and my computer on December 1st, reading over all that I produced is going to feel awesome. If only it came with a medal.