I was asked the question: Why do you run? That is easy: It is the one thing I can do that offers me that edge and sense of self outside of my teaching. And, being one who is in excellent shape, the reality of health is a major factor. My folks are cursed with blood pressure issues and diabetes; it is my goal to conquer this struggle; and yes, even with my 50 plus miles per week of running — I struggle with this; it is frustrating in that my body fat composition and weight are good.
Why marathons? Well, like any former high school and/or college athlete, it is the one thing I can still do as a weekend warrior that provides a rush. According to the October 2008 issue of Runner’s World:
Only one tenth of one percent of the U.S. population finishes a marathon every year.
I think this point sums it all up:
Running a marathon is a difficult personal goal that ordinary people can achieve. We may not be able to conquer ourselves by climbing Everest, but we can conquer ourselves by completing a marathon.
Most people do not have the athletic skill or coordination to compete in the Olympics or other similar high level athletic event. However running a marathon is a significant athletic goal that non athletic people can reach. No particular skill or coordination is required. One just has to be persistent enough to keep putting one foot in front of the other. There are even wheelchair divisions for those with physical challenges. The distance itself is hard enough that we do not have to finish first to be successful. Simply finishing requires conquering ourselves.
Why run marathons? It’s there, it’s hard, yet an average person can do it.