Run a Marathon?!?!?
By Joshua Stevens
This remarkably ridiculous event of the marathon is on everyone’s lips this year. Maybe it’s because I’m tackling one in June that I keep hearing about it! The marathon has got to be THE most difficult endurance event designed. I’ve never had to recover longer and my legs and body felt more beat-up than after this long distance race. This event is so difficult that early medical doctors argued that running 26 miles would be deadly. And... there’s no coasting in marathoning! Coming from a cyclist, this is important information to have. I can’t just slow down, take a break, and feel better. If I do, it is as if I have twice as far to go now and I’m half as fast as I was. Also, I either DO or DO NOT get the hydration or nutrition right. There is no “I almost had enough to drink.” If I find myself making that kind of statement, it is too little too late. Trouble!
This may all sound like complaining, but really I want this to display my profound respect for marathon running and anyone who has done or attempted one. It is no joke. It is way more important to be solid mentally than physically for this event. All the perfect training miles won’t add up to a hill of beans if I am not 100% tuned into the event on race day. Being present for every step and every mile is my most important ally. If I am overly concerned with mile splits and where I was at mile 3 or want to be at mile 22, I become anxious and will lose that precious focus. The physical pain is enough distraction for anyone much less these ideas of pace and expected finish times. Eventually, everyone throws those out the window in a marathon and just runs to the finish line.
As difficult as I make a marathon seem, I believe any of us can accomplish one running or walking. It’s the perfect physical combination of possibility meets impossibility. This is the marathon’s lasting allure. There are as many ways to measure success in a marathon as there are participants in the Boston this year... almost 27,000! Success is why we all commit to running the marathon. If we are lucky enough to be at a legendary event like the Boston Marathon or any other, please know we are enjoying this success in the only way possible. We are running a marathon.
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Joshua Stevens, D.C., is a holistic chiropractor in Chapel Hill and Durham where he utilizes chiropractic, acupuncture, detoxification, nutrition, and cold laser therapy with patients. A two-time Ironman finisher, he focuses on racing cyclocross and mountain bikes... much easier!