Wednesday, November 9, 2022

My Final Marathon of 2022

It's official. I've signed up for my last peak race of the year, the 2022 Richmond Marathon this Saturday. Lord willing it will happen. This will be my fourth time running this race. I'm not a fast marathoner or a contender for any prize. For me, the marathon is a survival test that rewards everyone who finishes. The mere thought of covering 42 kilometers is frightening but also fascinating. Around mile 20 you're thinking, "What in the world am I doing here?" The fact is, every marathoner knows that we don't choose to run despite its difficulty but because of it. The joy of crossing the finish line justifies all the time and effort you put into training for it. 

At the finish line of the St. George Marathon in Utah. 

Just like a good marriage doesn't start on your wedding day (there's a lot to prepare for beforehand), so marathons don't begin at the starting line. What you do on race day is largely determined by what you did during the months that brought you here. 

About to start the Chicago Marathon. 

The hardest part of running a marathon is just getting there. You get back on race day exactly what you invested earlier. The distance can humble the proudest runner. For mid-to-back-of-the-packers like me, the reverse is equally true. 99.9 percent of your fellow Americans can't or won't do what you are attempting. A 5:40 marathon like I run isn't slow. Slow is never starting to train. 

Finishing well is my single goal. The race is not a stroll in the park but a beast to be fought. I've run this distance 18 times and it never gets easier. 

Pushing hard to finish the Dallas Marathon. 

Running is the purest of sports. It challenges you to do your best. "Overwhelmed" is the best way to describe what it feels like to finish. 

Celebrating the completion of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC.