“The art of screwing over one’s opponents” is, I believe, how Dwight describes “sabotage” in The Office (Season 3, Episode 22…yes, I watch that show TOO MUCH for my own good). Well. In this case, my opponent was me. Nope, not ME — the Marathon Expert, running buddy to Megarunr and fellow Shamrock Marathon finisher — just plain ol’ me, as in the myself. The “I” behind Megarunr.
You see, there was this crazy idea that kept bouncing around my noggin. Even though I knew it was crazy. And potentially dangerous. And had no real desire to undertake aside from the “coolness” factor. And did I mention crazy?
I should explain. It all came about so innocently…my friend (Hi, Trophy Wife!) has this cousin (Hiya, Amy!) who’s training for her first marathon and got all the way through an 18-mile long run before attempting to register for the target event and discovering that — oopsies — registration was already closed. When my friend shared this with me, I immediately started combing the Internet for alternate marathons. Because if I’ve learned anything from my own experience, it’s that if you really want to run a marathon and you’re managing the training, then nothing and I mean nothing should stand in your way. Not a past DNF. Not a once-in-ten-years freak snowstorm. NOTHING. So, I wanted to help cousin Amy find some alternates.
I sent a few links along for some regional events that met her timeframe, and then ended up passing along a “crazy but cool” idea as well. You see, as I was looking for spring Midwest marathons, I stumbled across one in the town in Canada where my engineering brother is currently working. After a brief consult with lil’ bro, it was determined that his apartment is blocks away from the starting line and that he would be happy to host a marathonner for the weekend. Now, aside from the inconvenience of travel and sharing an apartment with a complete stranger, how cool would that be? Running your first marathon on foreign soil? Sweet!
I shared this information with D, and then repeated the conversation to Scott over dinner. You know, because I thought it counted as an answer to the “how was your day” inquiry. When I finished, he looked at me expectantly.
“So, you want to go to Canada?”
Uh, no. Where’d you get that?
“Why else would you tell me that?”
Um, because I tell you things. I thought you’d enjoy the story.
“You should go.”
“No, really. You could break 4 hours. It’d be awesome.”
It WOULD be awesome…dang it! Now that idea’s in my head. I don’t want to run another marathon! Do I?
That pesky little idea explains why for the past two weeks I’ve managed a post about the Swamp Rabbit Trail, food, and pollen. I’ve been alternating between extreme excitement and extreme anxiety. I’d imagine actually finishing under 4 hours and writing a “Surprise!” blog post about it. This would inevitably lead to a consideration of miles 18-26, which my mind would literally try to shy away from. “Never again! No!” After seriously contemplating the latter half of the marathon journey after going to bed one night, I came to the conclusion that the crazy idea was just too crazy to contemplate.
And then, I started running again. With each run, I could feel my legs perking back up and my body recovering from the past ordeal. I began to ponder getting a long run in over the weekend “just to see what happened.” Then, miles 18-26 crept back into my mind. Augh! No! Yikes! Get away!
This brings us to…sabotage. I purposefully didn’t run all weekend. Three weeks of no long runs pushes the idea of a second marathon beyond hope of recall. It’s not just a fun, crazy idea anymore — it’s unreasonable. Which means that I can stop thinking about it.
And really, this is the right decision. Not only because three posts ago I was pledging NEVER TO RUN A MARATHON AGAIN (yeahyeah…shush), but also because running a marathon is a BIG DEAL. Running another one so soon — particularly after the last one zapped so much out of me — is just asking for trouble. I don’t need to do that. I find plenty of trouble all by myself.
I have, however, been running. A mile here, four miles there. It’s been relaxing. It’s been fun.