Monday, October 19, 2009

Spirit of the Marathon

Yesterday I went on a 5.5 mile run on Moscow Mountain. Having taken two days off because of a sore calf muscle, my legs felt rested, energetic, and strong. I was glad to be back on trails. Although I walked almost all of the uphills, I ran the flats and downhills faster than usual, and I remember looking down at the dirt and feeling a flying sensation for a second or two. (This particular sensation, if that is what it is even called, is new to me.) It was a great, although brief, experience.

After the run, I rented Spirit of the Marathon, a film that follows six runners through their trainings for and competitions in the Chicago Marathon. It was awesome to watch how running has impacted those people's lives, and I could see the power that human beings have within them.

As the credits started rolling, I started Googling marathons and half-marathons. What's the recipe for catching the marathon bug? Apparently a strong run in the morning and Spirit of the Marathon in the afternoon. My goal - recorded here on this blog so that it will be harder to back out on - is to sign up for my first half marathon by March and my first full marathon by the end of the summer. Are these realistic goals? I don't know. But after watching the grace and speed of Deena Kastor and the determination of Leah Caille, I am 100% inspired.



  1. Awesome, Annie! Let me know what you settle on for March. I would love to come run a half with you! I will warn you, once you've done a half, you never go back ;).

  2. Congrats on your blog. I guess it's great that you've found something that you like. Who am I to judge... I've heard of sadistic behavior. I just never thought that my sister would be one [sadist]. I'll be sure to look for a bumper sticker that says, "RUNNER". Cause I know that's what you people do. :-)

    Btw, this "journey" you speak of is something I've never understood. I get the "good trip" and "bad trip" mentality of an acid dropper,,, but when it's a bad trip every time, why embark on the same "journey" again? Why take the same bad acid every time? Believe me when I tell you, I run too. I have to. In fact, since I joined the AF I've had to run thousands of miles I'm sure. And every single time it's a "bad trip". I hate running. I don't hold it against you if you actually like it, I just don't understand.

    For me, running is a self-imposed punishment for eating tasty food--a personal choice regarding my self-image, and a choice about whether I want to keep my job. Beyond that, it means nothing to me. Hell, I don't even know if the health benefits of running out-weigh the consequences (bad knees, twisted ankles, unhealthy effects such as dropping dead on the track, cardiac explosions, etc.) It's my guess that millions of you "runner" people convince each other of how amazing this punishment is--so that while you're punishing yourself, you don't feel as bad about it... Kinda like the fighter pilot that hates his job, but he's worked so hard to have it that he has to convince himself (and others) about how amazing his job is. Sad,,, really sad. Or maybe it's a form of Stockholm syndrome where your running is actually a kind of incarceration, where you're trapped by the delusion that running equates to coolness, and after a while you delude yourself to the point of psychosis--actually convinced in your mind that you love this captor called running... It's called "mental illness" and there is help available.

    All I can say is that it's a good thing that you've found something that you seem to enjoy. By the looks of your photos, you and Scot are keeping companies like Brooks and Nike in business. I guess they rely on your collective psychosis!

    I love you Sis, and I'm happy for your health. I just hope this running thing is for the right reasons. And I hope that it doesn't define you. You're so much more.