Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wrong Reason to Run a Marathon

I have to say, the last few days I have had the thought roaming around in my head to do a full marathon.  The reasons for doing so have to be the absolutely DUMBEST ever!

You see ... this weekend we went to a 40th birthday party for an aquaintance.  There were a couple people there who run at one level or another, so naturally there was some discussions surrounding running.  Too often the conversations went like this:

Hey Heidi, how did you do at the Sun Run?  Awesome, I shaved 8 minutes off my time.  Finished in the top 10%.  That's awesome ... did you know that Suzy runs marathons? Her husband too.  Can you believe that?

So Heidi, are you still running?  Yup.  How far have you run?  Well, I did my first half marathon this year.  Oh good for you.  Suzy and her husband run marathons.  They're awesome.

Great, I'm super happy for Suzy & her husband.  I hugely admire anyone who runs marathons.  I think it's an extreme challenge, not to be taken lightly.  But why OH WHY does running a marathon seem to supersede any other running feat? 

Just for kicks, I looked up some past running times for Suzy & her husband.  Good ... but I can beat 'em.  Not that I care about beating them, it's just the point.  Does length always impress more than speed, or just plain ol' accomplishment? Hmmm, that could sound dirty if you had that type of mind....  Guess I should have said distance, not length. :)

Personally I am impressed by anyone that takes on a challenge and conquers it.  Whether that is to run for 5 minutes without stopping, or to qualify for the Boston marathon. 

It wasn't just the conversations from this weekend that had me thinking this.  It's a pattern I see over and over.  Through conversations, on blogs ....

(skip this next paragragh if you have it taped Biggest Loser and plan to watch later.... )

Then of course last night on Biggest Loser, the final four ran a marathon, on a beautiful course I might add!  I'm still so leary that they don't fix that thing.  I mean, Daris looked great and definitely the best running form/ability ... but 4 hours is a pretty good pace and I can't see that he could do his first ever marathon in that time after only becoming active over the last few months.  And Koli looked like he was running not bad, and the other two who walked a ton of it, only came in less than 30 minutes behind him.  Yeah, I dunno.....

I found myself watching BL and researching various marathons on the laptop.  There's a beautiful one in Hawaii that looks nice.  It sure would be cool to do one in a really scenic, away-from-home, location.

So ... do you go out and run a marathon just because Suzy & her husband do??? Do you run one just because the contestants on Biggest Loser did?  That would be stupid right? I KNOW this, yet the thought keeps running through my head. I must be insane. A tropical vacation would probably set my head back on straight, right?

Really, at the moment my favourite distance is the 10K.  I will definitely do more half marathons because I'm comfortable with that distance and I think it's a great challenge.  But ultimately, 10K is where my heart is at at the moment.  It's just long enough to still be a challenge.  The training isn't insane and I still have lots of room (and I think ability) to do it alot faster than I have so far.  For me, I find just the challenge of running longer distance (without taking pace into the equation) is just one step after the other and I'm pretty good at that game.  The challenge of running a specific distance faster is what intrigues me the most.

I am guessing at some point down the road I probably will run a full.  Right now I fully believe I could do it, tomorrow if I really wanted to prove a point, but I haven't decided if I want to.  I think for something like that you need to have a pretty darn strong desire because alot of time and effort is involved.  It should probably be for the right reasons ... right?



Marcelle said...

I must be the most unadventurous runner, I have no desire to run anything but what I am capable for that day....
I sometimes wish I had more drive in me...I had smaller goals before, but lately all have gone, I just want to run and dont care how fast or how long...when I'm tried and its over 5km I stop!!

So what I'm saying here, is I love your desire you still have to improve and to get those extra km I told you from the time I met you via your blog, I wish I could run as fast as Heidi!!!

Lindsay said...

I totally agree! It's got to be for the right reasons!

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Thanks for the heads up on TBL...I did skip that part due to my one week delay...I was watching last week's episode this afternoon, and was crying (as usual). Then my kids' friends came to the door and wondered why I had been crying! Word of advice - don't watch in the daytime if you're a "crier" like me!

I laughed at the length/speed thing! haha (To quote Michael Scott on The Office, "That's what she said!") haha

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that running for distance or time is dependent on the individual. For me running my first marathon is about proving to myself that I can do it. It's not about how long it takes for me to do it, or if anyone else I know runs marathons too. It's for me. And I think that should be how running is. I know it's easy to compare yourself to someone else, or even get a little competative, but ultimately you need to do what is best for YOU. And if you can stream that competative nature into motivation for training than even better, as long as you still are thinking of yourself first.
Though, I love your idea of a hawaiian marathon - why didn't I think of that? I do have to admit that part of the reason I wanted to do the Nike Marathon was for the Tiffany's neclace. So maybe I was enticed a little, but seriously I am doing it for me. And whether you run a 5k, 10k, half marathon or whatever, you rock. Do what is best for you and what is enjoyable for you. And don't let anyone take that away from you with dumb comments like "oh they run marathons" - whatever. You are amazing! :)

Syl said...

you can't do it for any other reason then wanting to do it for you.
I had the same conversation yesterday at M & M meat shops - know the lady quiet well. I rolled in on my bike with the trailer behind me, she says "you are so active"..with the running and biking. And then I said Oh geez I hope the weather clears up for next sunday, my first half marathon and she says "well my friend runs MARATHONS and she is in such great shape". I took offence to that it was as if she was saying "anyone can run a half marathon you fat cow". I know that that is not what she meant but it's how it came across.

To me running is freedom, it's mind clearning, it's physical hard work and any distance is an accomplishment.

i know in my heart Heidi that one day you will run a full marathon, I just think that is where you are headed but for the time being you have a hell of alot to be proud of girl - don't let anyone rain on your parade!

Angela said...

Definitely do it for you and only you. And, if shorter races are your thing, go for it. There are Olympians who have never run a marathon--they focus on their personal strengths. I know the feeling of having others no appreciate shorter distances tho. I feel pretty darn special for running a half (even though thousands of people did the same thing) and I hate it when other people talk about shorter races like "she ONLY ran the half marathon." To them I say, "well, most likely it's 13.1 miles farther than you ran that day!"

Teamarcia said...

IMO people say crap like that because they have an innate desire to 'one-up' others. So if you run they know someone who runs longer, faster better, etc. It's just petty human nature so don't go out and do a marathon to impress others. Do it for you. Or not. Hell some people call them '5k marathons', '10k marathons' etc.

Missy said...

I think we always compare ourselves to others and want to compete at the same level as them, but its important to do things for ourselves. Not to prove anything to anyone. It's hard for me, as a running hater, to read blogs from runners and not want to run. But it's just not for me. Maybe one day you'll do marathon, but do it because it's an accomplishment you want to achieve. Not because they pretend to do it on the BL... ;o)

Krissie said...

I totally get you. And I am your opposite. I don't care about my speed, I care about distance. I love long runs. I don't enjoy fast ones as much. So the thought of a marathon has been in my mind for a while.

Will I be ready in November? I hope so. Will my time be impressive? Probably not. And it doesn't bother me. Not at all.

But I am doing this 100% forme. Not because I want others to think of me as a "serious" runner. I don't know that it's possible to make it through the necessary training if you're doing it for any other reason.

I really wondered about the small difference in Koli vs Mike/PinkGirl time. Was Koli really that tired that he ran that slow? Were the pair better prepared and more realistic and their walking breaks helped them that much?

Enough rambling from a first time commenter...

Fran said...

First: I've always thought you will be running a full marathon one day. Why? Because you love running so much and you like the challenge. And you know what? You will kick Suzy's and her husbands ash.

That said, I know what you mean. It's like you're not a runner because you don't ran full marathons. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Everybody runs for themselves, some for a full, some for speed, some love to run 5K's, other's like 10K's. For me? I run better at shorter distances but I want to run a half to prove to myself I can do it. But I won't do a full as training for that means a complete change of living and I'm not prepared to do that.

I'm proud of your achievements in running. You had an awesome 10K in a time I can only dream about so I look up to you for doing that, and not to a BL contestant who walks half of the marathon.

If you want to run a full: do it! You can!

kimert said...

I totally agree. And as far as TBL, when D ran the 5k they did in under 29 mins or whatever keeping a 7 someodd minute pace. That struck me as odd. My dh is in tiptop shape and has workedout and ran for most of his life. He still is right at 29 mins for a 5k. I wonder sometimes if BL does some of that for tv. Makes those of us that are runners think sometimes. And in all honesty, does time matter? Nah. My ultimate goal is to finish a half marathon. :) And my reason? Shoot, do I have to have one?? LOL
And so what if Suzy and her hubby run marathons. I know you could get out there and give Suzy a run for her money cuz' you rock like that. ;)

Suzy said...

One of the hardest things to do is not compare one's own running to another's running. You have to run for yourself and if that means you WANT to run a full, then you should. Any other reason is just plain stupid, IMHO.

I'll never be fast or look like a runner, but that is me and I'm good with that. You need to run the pace and distance for you and no one else. When the time comes and you want to do a full, I have no doubt that you'll do great! Until then, keep up the great work running the distances you do.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I ran to the mailbox yesterday, (to avoid the rain). Can I claim that as my personal marathon? Love you, dear daughter. You are doing wonderful and don't let anybody rain on your parade!

ajh said...

You have to want it for you. Don't get sucked in by other comments. Why aren't they running the marathon? They are probably jealous of your 10Ks. I bet you have lots of friends who admire you for the running you do! Most importantly yourself and your family.

Amy said...

Well said my friend.

Love the comment your Mom left! ;)

Julie said...

Hi Heidi,
I just signed up for my first marathon! I totally agree with you that any distance race is a challenge and there is always room for improvement. I think that you really need to be mentally ready when you sign up for a full:) Honestly, I am scared to death:) Holy crap...what did I do? JK...hopefully everything will be fine!

Happy weekend!