Joseph O'Brien 5:30 p.m., July 29
You Participated In a Marathon
What about my friend who ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll without training? I should make it clear that while my friend didn’t train for a marathon, this is a person who does three miles a few times a week and also bumps it up to six or seven miles about once a week — with hills.
If you’re wondering, I’m not revealing the gender of this person because of the whole black market bib thing.
My friend finished in roughly five hours and twenty minutes. I congratulated my friend, “You did it. You participated in a marathon!”
“I’ve wanted to do one forever and this seemed like the right time.”
“How did you feel?”
“At the halfway point I felt great but at 17 miles I gave it up and walked.”
“Have you ever run 17 miles before?”
“No, not even close.”
I decided I wanted to challenge this person a little bit. “So you didn’t run a marathon…”
“Yes I did! I finished.”
“You ran 17 miles and walked 9 miles. That’s not running a marathon. You participated in a marathon.”
“You can call it whatever you want but I did it.”
I let it go at that but I hope at some point my friend trains for a marathon and runs it from start to finish.
In my opinion, the best part of running a marathon is the training. As in any endeavor, it’s not accomplishing the goal we set that is most important. The primary reason for chasing a goal is who we become in the process.