I’ve never run a marathon.
Not because I can’t do it, I’m certain with the right amount of time, motivation, and training that I absolutely could.
Like most running, a marathon is all mental. Every runner will tell you that the hardest part about running is deciding to go. Once you do that, it’s usually downhill. Unless you have a bad run, then it’s finding the fortitude not to quit. Or, if you’re new at running, it’s going back to retrieve the lung you coughed up somewhere around mile two—which is perseverance. You don’t need both lungs.
Even most training plans have you stop once you hit about 20 miles. That’s because physically, it’s all you need to be able to do to finish a marathon. The final six miles are for your mind. It’s completely up to what remaining sanity you have left—which isn’t much because you’re running, to begin with. On purpose.
I’ve never run a marathon because I don’t see the point.
- I am not a professional runner.
- I don’t care about time trials or qualifying for races.
- My biggest running goal is to be able to manage my last ten pounds by running just enough to eat pie on demand.
- I don’t need to finish 26.2 miles to prove something to myself.
This can often be puzzling to other runners. Those conversations go something like this:
Them: “I’m running the [insert race name here] marathon.”
Me: “That’s great! Good luck! I know you’ll do awesome!”
Them: “You should run it!”
Me: “I don’t know, that’s a lot of running all at once.”
Them: “It’s not so bad, you’re already running around 23 miles a week.”
Me: “Yeah, but I have five days to do that, not six hours.”
Them: “Meh, you can do it. Think about it at least.”
Me: “It’s just so far.”
I’m not a career runner, I just like running. So, for me, there’s no justifiable reason to run 26.2 miles if I don’t have to. Maybe, you’re wondering what reasons would warrant me running 26.2 miles. Those would include:
- Being chased by a bear.
- Being chased by a tiger.
- Being chased by a lion.
- Being chased by a man wielding a chainsaw, wearing someone else’s face.
The odds are pretty good that I would be mauled and killed by the first three options within seconds. On average, a bear runs 25 miles per hour, a tiger runs about 30-40 miles per hour, and a lion runs 50 miles per hour. I run a 10.5-minute mile on a really amazing day. That’s like six miles per hour.
So, the last option is really my best chance for survival. I mean, is that guy going to be able to chase me for 26.2 miles? Probably not because:
- He has a chainsaw, and those are heavy.
- He’s got someone else’s skin on top of his own face—that’s got to be uncomfortable.
Anyone can tell you on a hot day, especially with humidity, your own skin is too hot, and that includes wearing running shorts, which is basically the same as wearing nothing. He can’t run in those conditions for ten miles let alone sixteen more. I’d generously give him a mile—maybe two if it’s cold outside—before he gives up and has to stop and take that second face off to get some air.
It’s not just Leatherface that would fail. Michael Myers has zero peripheral vision in his Captain Kirk death mask, and he’s huge. The only reason he ever kills anyone is because:
- People are making out in the abandoned mental hospital and they’re not paying attention.
- The director cuts to scene which gives him time to ride a golf cart over to the water cooler—which is 26.2 miles away.
- The person being chased has high heels on (and isn’t the lady who ran a marathon in three-inch stilettos (true story ).
- The person being chased falls and hurts their leg or ankle.
With the right amount of time, motivation, and training, I absolutely could run a marathon (not in stilettos). I wouldn’t be hard-pressed to survive; I’d just have to finish before the race ends.
But, I’m not a professional runner.
I don’t care about time trials or qualifying for races.
I don’t need to prove anything to myself.
For me, there’s no justifiable reason to run 26.2 miles if I don’t have to.
It’s so far.