Thursday, March 15, 2012

How long did you train for that marathon?

Recently, I've found myself almost stuck to find a good answer to that question.  Both, those who identify as "a runner",  and also those who just know a bit about what runners do, will ask me this.  Answers that some people will offer in response to this question are often, "I just followed the Higdon plan", or "16 weeks", "18 weeks" or "I was supposed to do 4 months, but I squeezed into 3!"
For me the answer is as simple as it is complex.  Because the answer is; since the first time I "went for a run".  or maybe I'll  say"16yrs", if I consider the first time I immersed myself into organized training with the Edison High School track team. Or I could tell you, "about 26,000miles... give or take", my current approximate lifetime logged mileage.  The answer changes often as you may now realize.  Part of my trouble in answering is that, my interpretation of this question is still undecided. I feel it suggests that the training completely leaves you after you run 26.2miles. 
I'll frequently say something like, "every run is money in the bank", as long as you aren't running yourself into an injury. 
Various styles of training work for different kinds of people, not everyone can or is willing to make running a priority for themselves.  Some choose to "run a marathon", and for some, running a marathon or many of them is just another step in the journey as a runner.
For me, running is a personal masterpiece in life.  There is nothing I can imagine I'd ever do better.
 So, take your break, after "the marathon", and remember this; a marathon as we commonly run it today is about 2.2miles longer than what was classically believed to be the accurate distance from the Plains of Marathon to the City of Athens.  Such arbitrary details lead us to a fairly simple conclusion, all of this is ritualistic.  How we perform these rituals is what matters, that we embrace it all for whatever it needs to mean for each of us.  I think Steve Prefontaine knew this.
I've been training for the marathon my entire life, and I didn't know it until I ran one.

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