Home > marathon, running > “You ran a MARATHON?? Are you Crazy?”

“You ran a MARATHON?? Are you Crazy?”

That is the attitude of my entire my family. Probably a significant amount of the rest of the people I interact with on a daily basis think that as well.

The answer is “No”.

I just know what I need. I need to run (or play Ultimate) on a close-to-daily basis. I don’t possess the power to exercise without an ulterior motive. And unlike a large portion of the population, the only distance that seems large to me is a marathon. Thank you, cross-country! I tried to train for the Broad Street Run in May 2009, but 10 miles didn’t seem like a big deal. I also found out early in the training schedule that the run was on the same day as Spring League finals, so that didn’t help… but while my body may be more out of shape than I expect it, the cross-country (and subsequent Ultimate) training has prepared me mentally to scoff at distances below 8 miles, and to not take distances between 8 and 13.1 miles too seriously. The only race that will motivate me to train regularly and decently is a marathon. (I also scoff at a number of track workouts when they are on paper, and I know I am DEFINITELY not in good track workout form, but isn’t running all about the mental game?).

People also asked what I thought about during the marathon–I wasn’t wearing headphones. I don’t wear headphones most of the time I run. I don’t need it, and headphones make me feel cut off from the world. I almost always have a song playing over and over in my head. If I let whatever is in there play, it automatically matches my pace which keeps me generally running at paces I can handle. Other stuff I think about while running long distances is just whatever–the weather, the people I pass, any injuries that might be flaring up at the moment, the last thing that made me angry, the next exciting Ultimate game, why I like the color red, etc. I consider running a form of active meditation. Not that I have ever tried real meditation, but it’s a time to reset my mind and just exist, and from what I hear that’s one thing you get out of meditation.

I have a set of headphones designed for running which wrap around my head and cradle my iPod shuffle (square version) at the back of my head. According to the New York Times, research shows playing faster music makes you move faster without you thinking about it (which matches what I see in reality). That’s why I bought the headphones, but I am not always in the mood for music dominating my run and I don’t always have time to make a good play list for the run. Running is a time to let my thoughts go, and music playing in the background tends to overpower whats in my head.

I also object in general to using headphones while doing things like riding the trolley or walking around. I like to hear the world around me. (And in some situations, I don’t like layering music over loud machine noises).

Going back to the original theme of the post, I had people over for a celebration immediately after the marathon. I sent minions (read “family and friends”) down to let in new guests. When my aunt went down to let in a friend, they apparently met eyes and immediately shook their heads and said “She’s crazy”.

Well I think all YOU are crazy for not running.

Categories: marathon, running
  1. Kate
    January 10, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I completely agree with you–I can’t believe there are so many crazies out there who don’t run.

    But I disagree with you on the headphones, at least in terms of working out. Granted, I ran the marathon without headphones, but I always take the iPod with me to the gym.

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