Runners are weird.
I’ve said it before.
I. am. a. runner.
Runners like pain. We must. Why else would we do this? I’ve run 26.2 miles before. I know what this kind of distance means. I know what running does to my body. I know that my quads will lock up at mile 24, my gut will twist into a painful rope, my arms will cry for release, my feet will dread the next step because they know there will be a knife from below, and I will keep running.
I know that there will be a photograph from the finish-line area where all the pain of the day will be etched on my face.
It is PROOF that I was in pain.
Knowing all that, I will do it again. The memory doesn’t even have to fade before I start thinking about my next run. I will wake up, probably someday soon, and look around for an opportunity for pain.
Maybe I won’t sign up for a marathon right away, but I will go out and run again. I will run to the edge of death. I will make my body hurt. Some part of me will wonder what in the heckfireandshoot I was thinking when I signed up to race, and the other side of me will tell that part to STFU.
While the marathon is particularly painful, it’s important to remember that the 5K is too. Even for marathon runners. Maybe more so because the explosive nature of the shorter distance is not the same as the long ache that creeps upon the distance runner.
I kept saying during the training miles of this year that next year I would commit myself to a return to the short distances. I need to regain my speed. I have the base I want, now it’s time to go fast again.
This means, in theory, I should have more time to give my loved ones. I will still be able to enjoy group runs, but if I miss a mid week ten miler, it won’t be the end of the world. I am ready to cut back and savor the run.
But I know that there will still be the ache and burn that comes with my run. I know it will mean the taste of blood in my breath in the moment and sore quads the next day. And yet, I will keep running.
~savor the run~