from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.
Lao-Tzu

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

bipolar

For the life of me, I cannot understand now why I pushed myself so hard. How important is it to make good time on your first half-marathon? Other things being equal, I knew I would finish it. I ran 13 miles one single time before, in 2 h 36 min. A time easy to improve upon during a race, without extreme expenditure. I could have walked here and there, especially within the last mile or two, and reached the finish line in a dignified manner. This, after all, is less a sport of speed than one of endurance.

About one hour or so after the end of my race, I watched a marathoner cross the finish line. He had run for 4 hours, give or take a few. He sailed past the gate of balloons, stopped, and took a swig from his water bottle. He was totally composed. I stared at him with eyes bulging out of my head. How had he accomplished it, this utterly distinguished finale? I remembered that I had promised myself to cross the finish line with sprezzatura, with apparent effortlessness, with princely nonchalance. Somehow, while running, I had forgotten about maintaining appearances.

I would not make for a good aristocrat.

I suspect the 4th of July 5K race had something to do with it. In my first race ever, four months into running, utterly green, I had placed 3rd within my age group, and now I gave in to hoping for a repeat of serendipity. How insaneā€¦ On the one hand I doubt myself, questioning whether I can run the marathon, whether my writing is any good, whether anybody will ever take me seriously. On the other hand, I presume to surpass runners who have years of experience ahead of me.

I am hopelessly bipolar. Or something.

2 Comments:

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Lora said...

You're just a crazy runner like the rest of us.
Welcome to the dark side--stay awhile.

 
At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Emil Ardelean said...

You said "bipolar"! I would say "multi-polar". What is a runner? It is hard to give a good definition, although many have tried. One thing is certain; running brings out the best and the worst in us. It allows one to realize what is she/he made of, and ... to carry her/himself across the finish line grimacing aristocratically and with just enough left in the tank to survive for several minutes before resurrecting to a new humble self.

 

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