On running a marathon

A few weeks ago I ran the LA Marathon in about 4.5 hours. It wasn’t pretty but I’m glad I did it. I appreciated most the daily training and how it imposes a certain structure onto your life, which you dislike a lot at first but then it just becomes part of you.

  • The marathon gets its name from the ‘feats’ of an Athenian courier who ran about 25 miles, gasped the words “Joy to you, we’ve won”, then collapsed and died; today marathon running is a sport. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about people…
  • I’d wanted to blog about my training efforts but decided against it. I’ve started to think like Derek Sivers: that sharing a goal can, ironically, make you less likely to achieve it
  • The race itself was a good experience, but there was a lot of pain — and little elation — at the end. This was disappointing; after my first half-marathon, I was on a new endorphin high. But 26 miles – the last 8 of them with leg cramps and dehydration — fried my mental and physical circuits. I laid in bed the remainder of the day and found eating and sleeping to be disappointingly unenjoyable
  • If habits form skills, goals supply will. It was a helluva lot easier to run 5-10 miles a day for 6 days a week, knowing those distances paled next to 26
  • For some, running 10K is their goal. Others want to finish a marathon. Still others strive to do it in 50 states. But everyone, once they’ve crossed their personal finish line, realizes the same thing: the hard part wasn’t finishing, it was that they did something with a “hard part”. Now that it’s gone, what’s next?
  • Murakami was my catalyst. I admire him so deeply, and he enjoys running so deeply, that some transitive magic happened. I now understand this quote of his a tiny bit better

I will probably attempt another one in a few months. But like eating Ichiran ramen and listening to Garth Brooks, it works best to enjoy the wait.

If you’re an active runner, let me know!

Click here to read about the daily habits that I track and why.