Runners must have horrible memories

  • 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

that again.”

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.


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