Alarmist Buzzkill

I know I touched on this in my last post, but I am happy to say that running is starting to feel fun again. Granted, I haven’t run more than 4 miles (Hell, more than 3.5 miles) since the Squirrelly Six Miler (and, to say I phoned it in for this race would be an understatement), but the runs have been fun ones. I am signed up to run the Albany Last Run 5K, and I plan to “train” while on vacation in Disney World. (By this, I mean, I am going to shoot for 5, 3-4mile morning runs while on vacation, as I won’t have access to a gym and won’t be able to cross train. By proxy, this will get me into good shape for that race.)

I decided while I was at the peak of my training for the half marathon, that I really did not want to train for a marathon. Ever. I am not one to say “never,” in general, because I think it is irresponsible. I may decide, say, 5 years from now, that I want to do it. I go into it more in depth in this post, but, in short, the cons outweigh the pros, at least for me, and at least for right now.

I think we can all agree, though, that running a marathon is a HUGE DEAL no matter what your fitness level, and one of the things that I love about distance running as a sport is that it really is open to everyone. It’s something someone who is able bodied can aspire to if willing to put in the work. Like the sometimes elusive so called, “American Dream,” it is something attainable for most people with hard work and determination. Because of this, I have a lot of friends who have recently completed marathons, such as the amazing Evie. Evie says, in her post, “If you run and someone has scared you out of training for a marathon, or it seems like too great a reach, I want you to know that you can probably do one.” And she’s absolutely right. Which is why this article is so upsetting.

Yes, running a marathon will tax your body. Yes, some people are probably more prone to running injuries than others. And yes, yes, for the love of all things holy, yes, if you are not properly trained, you are at an extremely high risk of injuring yourself. But, as Evie notes in her review of this post, shortly after her own marathon, “[t]his kind of alarmist reporting on marathons…creates an incomplete picture of what the experience is like.”

We train and we work out and we run for a variety of different reasons, and none of them are explicitly right, but rather right for YOU. However, there are a lot of WRONG reasons for not doing something. Don’t NOT do this for the wrong reasons.

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