Monday, October 13, 2008

Marathon Man

Jerry Seinfeld once joked that a Marathon was a woman from Norway, a guy from Kenya and 20,000 losers. In Chicago yesterday, he was half-right about the winners. A Kenyan man won, along with a Russian woman. Approximately 45,000 other runners also ran.
Twenty years ago, I attempted my
first Chicago Marathon. I gave up around mile 18 and limped for the next 4 months or so (some sort of cartilage tear). The next year, I came back and finished in a non-fast time of 5:59:35, sliding in under the 6 hour mark!
In 1991, as the above pictures show, I finished in a remarkable 3:35:13. For me to accomplish this, everything had to go perfectly. The weather, the course, my I took only a couple water breaks (ordinarily a bad move). Anyway, I have not come close to that magic mark since then.
I have run Marathons in Madison, Indianapolis, Cleveland, New York and Boston. Each one was really a great experience, which I might share in individual posts later.
I can't believe I have not run a Marathon since 2001. Looking at the picture though, I immediately remember the pain that comes with Marathon running. Notice in 1991, I proudly stood on top of the Finisher Stand. In 2001, I was so exhausted and pained that I could not even make the climb up there. That 16 inches might as well have been a mountain.
The 2001 Chicago Marathon took a lot out of me, physically and mentally. To finish a Marathon, you must really want to finish. I lost the desire (or maybe the pain pushed the desire away). However, I vow here that I am not done. I can't promise it for 2009, but I will run and finish a Marathon in the near future.


Anonymous said...

That is so amazing and impressive. What incredible strength you have (mentally and physicall) to be able to accomplish this feat--so many times.

I envy you....and am so proud.

Anonymous said...

Who's Ronnie? Hmmm?

Johngy said...

Ronnie-Thanks for your kind words and for reading my ramblings.
Mark-Did you read the date...2001. That's a long time ago, my friend.
Wheeling-Who's Ronnie? Who's Wheeling?