All of us have been asked it numerous times by friends, co-workers, strangers who see your race T-shirt (the list could go on for a while). They just don't get why, to us, marathons are a training run. The conversation usually ends with that person shaking his/her head, calling you crazy and making a comment about ruining your knees.
Nights like tonight remind me why I choose to be an ultra runner. Since I am training for the JFK 50, it seems appropriate to steal (and alter) a phrase from the late, and great, President John F. Kennedy, Jr.:
I choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of my energies and skills, because that challenge is one that I am willing to accept, one I am unwilling to postpone, and one which I intend to win.
Every day I am "out there" I am learning. Today's lesson: the suck is temporary. Sure, I ran today. 5 miles on a relatively flat section. It was supposed to be easy...but it was about 100 degrees, my pre-run hydration was non-existent, I didn't eat right and for the 2 hours immediately before the end of my 11 hour day at the office I helped move furniture, which is not a part of my usual desk job. I knew as soon as I laced up that I felt like hell; but, I reminded myself that days like today are mental training and, in a way, are more important than 20+ mile days that feel easy.
To those who do what we do...cheers