What is the lure of a marathon? Why do millions of people believe it to be one of the supreme athletic achievements? Why does marathon garner a place on many of our so-called “Bucket Lists” to do before we die?
As a longtime athlete, playing soccer since I was 5 and starting gymnastics soon after, I understood the many pleasures of running, but had long dismissed endurance sport as something I wanted to do. I believed it was designed for people built differently than I am, or possessing a masochistic gene that I knew I did not have. Never having run more than six miles in my life, assuming that’s approximately how far you run as a midfielder in an average 90 minute soccer game, I never thought I’d need to run longer or farther to feel satisfied. Indeed, knowing the supreme exhaustion and elation one feels after a game, why would even you want to?
Fast forward a few years, okay more than a few years, and I’m living in Los Angeles, the bastion of beautiful people by the sea. I’m eating well, I’m working out, but I’m not feeling truly motivated or inspired. If I could just find something challenging to do, maybe set myself a big goal to achieve, and tell everyone about it so I can’t quit before I’m through, I could probably get myself in pretty good shape, right?
Right. After a lot of thought, I decided that a marathon was just the challenge for me. So I began my training. (And a week later I began working as a writer for Splits59. Now that’s good karma.) Now, six months later, having experienced all kinds of different aches and pains I didn’t even know existed, I am tapering for the LA Marathon, my first ever endurance race, and you know what? I’m pretty excited about it. Sunday March 2nd marks the 23rd Los Angeles Marathon, and this time I’m going to be running it, not just spectating. Please cross your fingers that it doesn’t get too hot on Sunday…. Thanks!
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