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Where I think to Sunday’s Marathon

by John on November 7th, 2014

This Sunday, I’m running.

At the end of a marathon, it’s going to hurt whether you’re speeding up or slowing down. You may as well push.

– Summer Sanders

I’m running 26.2 miles.

Marathon running, like golf, is a game for players, not winners. That is why Callaway sells golf clubs and Nike sells running shoes. But running is unique in that the world’s best racers are on the same course, at the same time, as amateurs, who have as much chance of winning as your average weekend warrior would scoring a touchdown in the NFL.

– Hunter Thompson

In some ways, I’m better prepared than I’ve ever been, for a run. I’m stronger and leaner than I’ve ever been in my life. I know the course well. I’ve set-out, and, in my mind, have conquered the trickiest portion of the route.

When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time.

– Haile Gebrselassie

There is less of me to drag around the course. And the me that remains is better-suited to do it. I stand in good shape.

The marathon can humble you.

– Bill Rodgers

But the fact that I have been running far less than I ever have, since I started getting into running, has me a bit worried.

I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.

– Bill Hanc

And that I’m getting over a cold has me doubly worried.

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

– Lance Armstrong

Still, I plan to finish strong.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

– Steve Prefontaine

The race will start on a closed road, with high hopes, anxious energy, and loud music.

Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.

– Doug Larson

I’ll run through the streets of downtown Harrisburg, keeping in mind that this is my race, and I will try my damndest to keep from spending too much energy trying to run past slower runners, or being bothered by anyone passing me.

Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.

– Tim Noakes

The spectators will grow sparse and the roads will turn lonely. I’ll get my first glimpse of those runners who run far faster than me. I’ll keep my head held high.

The feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.

– Sarah Condor

The crowds will return, street bands will play, I’ll keep myself from getting too excited.

The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals

– Hal Highdon

Again, the crowds will leave as I run along the river. I will find solace in the beauty.

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed.

– Jacqueline Gareau

I’ll weave my way through residential housing, waving to those, warm, enjoying a cup of coffee from their porch, watching those of us who are out there, willing ourselves further.

Few things in life match the thrill of a marathon.

– Fred Lebow

The crowds will return, I’ll refrain from getting too excited, keeping my stride in tow.

Marathoning is just another form of insanity.

– John J. Kelly

I’ll catch another glimpse of those who will be finishing before me. Those who will be in comfortable clothing, and comfortable shoes, and off their feet. I’ll refrain from trying to sneak across the path to skip a portion of the race.

No doubt a brain and some shoes are essential for marathon success, although if it comes down to a choice, pick the shoes. More people finish marathons with no brains than with no shoes.

– Don Kardong

The hills will hit. I’ve run them before. I’ll plow through.

In the first half of the race, don’t be an idiot. In the second half, don’t be a wimp!

– Scott Douglass

I’ll be able to taste the finish. I’ll will my legs to keep going. Back through residences, back to the river.

That’s the beauty and the horror of the marathon, that it has that sense of, ‘Am I going too fast? Could I blow up? Am I gonna hit the wall?’ And there’s something about overcoming that.

– Ryan Lamppa

I’ll appreciate the beauty of the river, and I’ll use the solitude to focus on the cheering crowds at the end.

Finish: Even if you run a slower than expected time, you succeed in any marathon when you finish

– Hal Highdon

The hill to the last bridge will not destroy me.

Do, or do not. There is no try.

– Yoda

I will pull out my earbuds (possibly having to remove my earmuffs, first, though something tells me I’ll be throwing those in my pocket well before the end, if they even make it to the start) and sprint my way through the bridge.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

– T.S. Eliot

I will cross the finish line with my head held high, a smile on my face, ignoring the pain in my body.

Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles.

– Lori Culnane

  1. Kim permalink

    and now…? I want to run a marathon…

    Good luck and kick ass, John! We’ll all be virtually cheering for you!

    You got this!

    • I’m beyond certain that, some day, you’ll be running before too long.

  2. You’re going to kill it.

    • Well, I ran it . . . don’t know that I killed it, but I certainly finished 🙂

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