Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Why Run A Marathon

The birthday boy was greeted with goodies:  donuts and presents!

Who's the most popular kid in the house?  The birthday boy and his presents!

Birthdays are always sweeter when spent with friends!

Neither snow, nor cold, nor ice will prevent the boys (and Chris) from trick or treating!

A before picture of our Monumental Marathon (and Half Marathon) crew.

Basking in the glow of marathon PRs and Boston qualifiers!

Pumping the calories back in after the race!

Cleaned up, fed, and happy!

Saturday morning I raced in the Monumental Marathon.  The brisk conditions and flat course lent itself to stellar times.  I felt good, even as I reached the final stretch of the race.

As I neared the last mile, I picked up my pace and engaged in one final kick.  A sense of euphoria hit upon crossing the finish line.

My mind was euphoric...

my body not so much.  

As I walked through the race chute, my legs finally succumbed to fatigue.  I limped and hobbled my way to the exit.  My pained expression failed to mirror my inner celebration.

I spotted a church friend stretching near the exit.  She ran the half marathon and recounted her experience.  Then, she soaked in my appearance and asked, in a tone that begged for an authentic answer, "Why do people run marathons?"

Even in my sorry state, I had to laugh.

The finish line of a marathon is filled with individuals that look moments away from needing a gurney (or a coffin).  Scanning the scene, few would understand why a human feels the need to push oneself into exhaustion....and for what?  (I saw a sign along the race course that read, "Remember you paid for this!")

But the marathoners understand.

I would compare it to childbirth.  After a delivery, the mother looks worn, but there's a joy there that words cannot justify.  Labor is painful and hard, but blissful and rewarding all the same.

That's a marathon.

It's an oxymoron.

A contradiction.

A paradox.

It's hard and painful, but delightful and gratifying all the same.  And the only way to reach that feeling of euphoria is to wade through difficult.  To the marathoner, the difficult is the euphoric.

But the non-marathoner doesn't see or experience that feeling.

Just the marathoner knows the compatible feelings of pain and ecstasy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment