Thursday, August 09, 2007

why marathon?

Gina left a comment on an earlier post asking why in god's name would anyone want to run a marathon.

I have basically two reasons.

To have something to aim for.
This will give my leisure life a little more focus for the next five or six months. And, at the end, if all goes well, I will have accomplished something. This, it seems, is a basic formula for life. You aim. You shoot. And, hopefully, you hit. Then you aim again.

You get to tour a city.
The reason I chose Miami is because it looks like a really cool course, passing, as it does, by seaside and boats and palm trees and such, and it gives me a chance to tour a relatively foreign environment in a kind of slow, admittedly painful way, with the added bonus of feeling sense of Herculean accomplishment at the end. And it's fun to fantasize about doing this in all sorts of places, like D.C., San Francsisco, Rome, etc. And to think that each time I do it I will not only see each of those cities in a unique (admittedly painful way), I also will have accomplished something, which, again, is sort of the meaning of life, at least in a twisted capitalistic country like U.S.A.

If I were to throw in a third reason (and this might well be the best reason), it's that it's becoming increasingly clear to me that I need a regular routine of cardiovascular fitness, and aiming for a marathon in a strange, new city, gives that routine a shape and purpose.


Mark said...

Screw the marathon Joe. Take it from a maniac runner.

Now mountain climbing... There's something I've always wanted to do. I would love to summit Mt. Hood or Mt. Ranier. I fear if I don't do it soon I may have spousal permission pulled on the count of "you're too old for that kind of nonsense."

joe said...

When I was in high school, and therefore invincible, I ran the Pikes Peak Marathon -- not the whole up and down part, just the up part. I didn't run the whole way, of course.

Why screw the marathon. It looks like so much fun. Plus I did one 15 or so years ago in Denver, and I really enjoyed it, despite the way it tore me apart for a week or so.