My Complicated Relationship with Marathons

Dear Marathon,

You are very demanding, very unforgiving and entirely unpredictable.  You put me through a rigid and time-consuming 16 week training schedule.  I run 600 miles through snow, rain, heat and humidity for you and all you give me in return is one day.  I give you my life for 16 weeks and all I get is one day to prove my worthiness to you!  You are the most unfair and stubborn person I have ever known.  Marathon, you are the worse friend I have ever had but I will forever love you.

Truly Yours,


If Marathon was a person, that is what I would say to him/her.  I have been on a quest to break 4:30 for two years and have come up short three times.  Each time I have fallen short it has not been from lack of effort or lack of training.  One marathon was 85 degrees, another I had a respiratory virus, and in the third I had a hip injury.  It is frustrating to go through the marathon prep and get to race day to find out mother nature pulled a fast one on you or your body decided it wasn’t up for 26.2 today.  It would rather do it tomorrow or wait a week or so.  Unfortunately Marathon doesn’t wait.  It is not that type of friend.  It planned out this day well in advance and it will go on with or without you.

Each time I have failed to hit my goal I go through the same ritual.  First I get angry, then I swear off marathons, and then I get tough.  I know I can’t give up on my goal of breaking 4:30.  Marathon is a very humbling friend but it is also a very rewarding friend.  When I haven’t achieved my goal, Marathon has allowed me to bask in the glory of crossing the finish line, even when it takes me a few days or weeks to fully appreciate it.  In all honesty, crossing the finish line never gets old.  I have sweet memories of all my races.  So my quest for 4:30 will continue.

Dear Marathon,

I think about you all the time and I can’t wait to see you November 4, 2012 in NYC.  This time I will crush you. 

Your Best Friend Forever,



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