Over the last month I’ve begun training to run The 2013 LA Marathon. This will be my second marathon, I ran it for the first time in March with a strained muscle that forced me to walk the last seven miles. I didn’t strain the muscle during the race, I started the race with it and just kept going. I was unable to run after mile 19 but I had gone too far to give up; I wrote about it at the time here. This year I want to run the whole thing and hopefully finish in under 5 hours.
The actual race details don’t really matter. The main thing that I learned from running it the first time is that for me a marathon isn’t about the race, it’s about building up to run the race. It’s about going out 4 days a week and running until I can run farther than I ever thought possible when I was a kid in physical therapy learning to simply walk. I have come so far from being a kid in physical therapy, and a kid who needed surgery to help me walk properly that I forget that kid ever existed.
A few days ago I found myself ready to quit halfway through a Spartan Race. I finished (so did my wife who wrote about it) but I was disappointed that I didn’t finish stronger. I know I should be happy that I finished but I wanted to do better. This morning I got back on the road for the first time since the Spartan Race and slowly made my way across several miles until I felt better. It’s not that I want to run away from my younger self, I just want to know that I’m still going forward.
As long as I’m going forward I feel as if I am building towards something that once felt impossible.