Just thought I’d say – there’s an interesting post on JerryS’ Running Madness at Hugo Schwyzer’s blog. It gets a tad religious at one point for my taste, but it’s interesting all the same. Bears out what JS says. Runners will damage themselves rather than stop, and there is a moralistic aspect to that. ‘Coming from a runner, that’s terribly refreshing,’ Hugo says of my colleague’s observation: ‘there isn’t a moral requirement that we should fulfill our potentials; if people are happy with mediocrity, as I am, then let them be.’
I’ve often finished races or long training runs while feeling ill. I’ve only once dropped out of a marathon, down in Long Beach in 2001. I walked off the course at mile 22, but I hadn’t been feeling myself since mile 10. At the time, friends, family, and fellow runners assured me that I had done the sensible thing by not pushing myself through. A part of me, of course, believed them. But another part of me felt very much like a failure. That feeling of failure after the Long Beach marathon lasted longer than the feeling of elation I have had after successful marathons.
That’s interesting, and rather sad – sad in general, I mean, sad if you extrapolate it to runners (and people) in general. Sad if our feelings of failure last longer than our feelings of elation. Let’s hope they don’t, on the whole.