Running a marathon is a big accomplishment; it's the culmination of all of your hard work, training and preparation. But before you cross the finish line, your mind and body go through a lot over the course of 26.2 miles. Here's the internal dialogue of one runner at his first marathon.
At the Start Line
Well, here goes everything. One hundred and eight dollars, an old pair of running shoes, compression shirt and shorts, basketball shorts, a headband, my phone and some headphones. This is terrifying. It's a big investment and I have absolutely no idea if I can do it. I have so many people rooting for me, but did I set the bar too high?
Alright, this is going well. I'm doing it. I have my pace. I'm not looking to win or place. No, I just want to finish. "To finish first you must first finish." I've seen those words written on the inside of a race car. A car that was driven in the Baja 1000 race. A 1,000 mile off-road endurance event where half the cars don't even finish, and that's my goal for this race. I just need to finish, even if it kills me. And if it does, well, isn't this an interesting way to go?
I hate running. I think I have the right to say that at this moment. I've run seven races this year, and this one may be my last race ever. I've run everything from obstacle races to fun 5Ks—and now a marathon. And with every race, even as much as I enjoyed them, the only thing I disliked was the actual running.
I don't really like running, it's completely dull and mind-numbing. It's one of the slowest ways to travel, short of walking. It's painful after a while, the blisters, the chafing, your lungs hurt from hyperventilation, your stomach hurts from the runner's stitch. And let's not forget that distance running can be dangerous. Around 74 percent of all distance runners report a moderate to severe injury during the year. Your shins, knees and hips can all suffer from long-term running.
God this is boring. It's masochistic, painful, but more than anything, it's mentally painful. One foot in front of the other, back and forth. According to this blog an average runner takes about 52,000 steps in a marathon.