Before my recent face-to-face sympathy session with the repair guy, I had another virtual sympathy session, this time with a post from Susan Lacke.
In "There Is No 'Should' In Running," Susan recounts a conversation she had with a friend who'd just completed a half marathon.
This friend, like other runners Susan's talked to, said with some resignation that she guessed she'd have to do a marathon next. To this view, Susan responds: "You don’t have to do anything. Do you want to run a marathon?"
The post goes on to defend all distances as being perfectly acceptable to qualify you as a "real runner." But that part wasn't what spoke to me — it was the line excerpted above.
As you may or may not remember, I decided that this year's goal would be to at least consider running a marathon, and I've explained it as "if I'm going to do it, I should think about doing it now, with a child-free life and a 40-hour workweek."
But while struggling mostly mentally, sometimes physically, this spring, I've thought about how the hurdles are twice as large from a half marathon to a full ... and it's made me 99.5 percent sure I won't be trying a marathon this year, or, honestly, any year.
After reading Susan's column, though, that conclusion seemed less gloomy. The answer to "do you want to run a marathon?" is no.
And man, there is a huge difference between, say, going to a movie you don't actually want to see all that badly, and running a distance twice what you've ever done when you don't want to.
I didn't even fall short on my goal of "think about doing a marathon," because I did think about it. Having the most time and fitness that I'm likely to have just doesn't translate to having the desire.