- This was printed in September of 2013 in The Madera Tribune, a newspaper in Madera, California. This was the 16th installment of my weekly column, Mind Over Miles.
When I finished my first marathon last Sunday I immediately declared, “I’m never doing
Four days later, on Thursday, I registered for another one.
Runners, like moms, must have horrible memories. We forget pain so easily.
Running a marathon is like giving birth — it’s exhausting, it hurts, and you don’t know
when it’s going to end. When it ends you get a reward — a baby or a medal. Then it still
hurts, but a different kind of pain.
Yet a week later when you’re all healed and feeling back to normal you forget how much
it sucked and you want to do it again. That’s why women have multiple kids. And that’s
why runners run multiple marathons.
I guess it’s because the pain goes away but the reward is there to stay. I can forever look
at my big shiny medal and remember crossing the finish line. I can look at my kids and
see how beautiful they are, forgetting the long hard labors it took to get them here.
So, because I seem to have short-term memory, I’ll be running the Two Cities Marathon
on Nov. 3 through Fresno and Clovis.
There are actually a lot of reasons why I’m running it, the first being peer pressure. Gone
are my college days of friends peer pressuring me into taking shots and playing beer pong
— now I have friends who peer pressure me into pounding pavement for 26.2 miles in the
heat through sweat, tears and blood. Thanks, guys.
I’m also running it because that dang Boston bug is chirping even louder. I ran a 4:01:17
marathon despite a sinus infection, vomiting for hours the day before the race, and
running a course with more hills than I had anticipated. The Boston bug is telling me that
I can knock 26 minutes off of my time if I’m healthy, especially on a course that I could
run in my sleep. As my running buddy Audrey puts it, “This is our stomping grounds,
girl! We got this!”
I also came across a copy of Runner’s World magazine – the issue that covered this year’s
Boston Marathon in more depth than any other news media. I’ve read every page of that
issue, crying through most of it. Runner’s World interviewed runners, spectators and
medical personnel who were there when the bombs went off at the finish line. Their
stories are blended together chronologically to paint a horrific picture of what it was like
to be there that day.
After reading it, I feel like I need to be there in April, running the Boston Marathon to
show support and to show terrorists that we’re not afraid. It was said best by London
Marathon commentator Steve Cram prior to the race, “If you are trying to break the
human spirit, marathon runners are the wrong sort of people to pick on.”
If I need to run a 3:35 marathon to qualify, so be it; I want to get to Boston.
I’m also running Two Cities because my family (besides my husband and kids) didn’t get
to watch me run my first marathon. Now that I’m racing in my hometown, they have no
excuse. I expect everyone to be out there, cheering loudly for my running buddies and
Wouldn’t it be nice to BQ right before the eyes of my loved ones? That’s my dream – and
I have less than nine weeks to make it happen.