This past October, I finished the marathon in 3 hours, 23 minutes, and 39 seconds, earning me a Boston Marathon qualifying time and a first place award in my age group. To endure those 26.2 miles, I offered everything I had to the road in front of me. The finish line was the ultimate symbol of personal determination; crossing it celebrated weeks of training and 3 hours, 23 minutes, and 39 seconds of pushing myself beyond my perceived physical and mental boundaries. At the end of the marathon I felt overwhelmingly content.
Early his morning, as I watched my friends cross the finish line of the San Francisco Marathon, the marathon I was supposed to run, I remembered this feeling of absolute conclusion and satisfaction. I craved it. Badly.
Since overtraining and injuring myself, I have been questioning my desire to even run another marathon. Half marathons and 10Ks are fun and races I can sanely train for.
But, 13.1 miles and 6 miles are not the same as 26.2. They don’t overwhelm you. Maybe I just don’t try hard enough, but finishing those distances doesn’t leave me with the same sense of humbling accomplishment.
I am now sure that I want to be back out there. I want to see that 20 mile marker, feel the wall, and crash through it. I want my chest to heave, sweat to crystallize on my shoulders, and to see the finish line and collapse across it.
I want to run again, but I need more time. I’m not healed yet. Soon, though.