I keep saying I’m not going to do a marathon. I’m genuinely happy not running 15 miles on the weekend. AND THEN I GO AN DO THIS STUPID THING.
Marathons aren’t the be-all, end-all. Honestly, I think you can feel shittier in the immediate aftermath of a 5k than a marathon. The thing about marathons is that they suck up your entire life, and exhibit a of that is that now that I entered that lottery I’m saying things like, “Well, let me wait until after I find out about that to commit to any summer plans…”
The marathon is like the blob: before you know it, it has consumed all your free time. Your eating habits, your sleep habits, your workouts, they are all dedicated to this one, singular goal that you cannot escape no matter how hard you try.
Lots of people ask in running groups, “How do I know if I’m ready for a marathon?” The easy answer is this: If you find yourself with too much spare time on your hands and you think, “I would like to dedicate all my spare time plus a bunch of spare time I don’t have to doing one thing for the next 18-20 weeks,” then a marathon is for you! It’s not a question of dedication to running, it’s more a question of not having to dedicate your time to anything else.
Having said all this, it’s also not a coincidence that I chose a marathon that is at home, where I can sleep in my own bed and not have to take any vacation time for travel. If I’m doing a fall marathon this year (and that’s a big if), I’m doing the most convenient one possible. Even if I’m not running, though, I’ll be back on the bridge this year just before mile marker 20 sending runners off as they head back to Virginia–waving calmly and helpfully yelling, “You know, this is where it’s supposed to get really hard!”