Guest Blogger Charlie Johnston
“I’m not a marathon, Charlie” were some of the final words from the latest in what is becoming a distressingly long list of lost loves, failed relationships, and ex-girlfriends. She was right, but perhaps not in the way she thought. For you see, person who will remain nameless for obvious reasons, had I truly approached our relationship with the same cautious optimism and practiced perseverance with which I have approached more than 30 marathons, we might still be running together today.
To provide some perspective on the comment, this particular young woman and I—please excuse the cliché—hit the ground running. We sprinted off the start line like first-time runners, arrogantly defying the obvious folly of our unrealistic and flawed race plan. When our pace proved too frenetic to maintain, we took completely different race strategies: she stopped at an aid station for medical attention and I, failing to see she had stopped, forged ahead at the same suicide pace. Sadly, she didn’t get my attention when she stopped and I didn’t turn around in time to see that she was no longer beside me.
I’ve never started a race at such a reckless pace; we’d have been lucky to finish a 5K as fast as we were going. I know better. Everyone who has ever put on a pair of running shoes knows better. Most training programs allow 16 weeks to properly prepare runners to reasonably take on a marathon—even the most condensed programs call for 12 weeks. All of the plans stress the importance of a gradual buildup in weekly mileage and run intensity. And we all know that at no point during a marathon is it wise to break into an […]