“The marathon can humble you,” Bill Rodgers, the four-time Boston marathon winner and the former American record holder for the marathon, once said.
Well, with apologies to the legendary runner, I would change that to: “Marathon training can humble you.” I’ve run one marathon. But I’ve trained twice. The first time, I made it to my 18-mile training run before getting hurt. The second time, I only ran one of my three scheduled 20-milers because of the fear of getting hurt.
The marathon itself? It was awesome. Well, it was no walk in the park (ha ha), but it was not as difficult as the 20-miler I did alone during training. Or the solo 16-miler where someone shouted an insult at me from their car. Or the hot, hilly 14-mile run that gave me my first experience with chafing…in the trunk, if you catch my drift. (That was before I discovered 2Toms ButtShield, obviously.)
Yep, marathon training can humble you. Occasionally, I really had to remember why I was putting in all those, sometimes painful, miles: the marathon. To be a marathoner. To run a 26.2-mile race, and say “I did it!”
Here are a few running quotes about the marathon to keep you going…no matter how many miles you have in front of you before race day.
“We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.” – Emil Zatopek, the Czechoslovakian long-distance runner who won Olympic gold medals in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter races, and in the marathon (which he’d never run before) at the Helsinki games in 1952
“Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like muscles of the body.” – Lynn Jennings, U.S. long-distance runner and Olympian, who won bronze in the 10,000-meter race in Barcelona 1992
“I don’t think about the miles that are coming down the road, I don’t think about the mile I’m on right now, I don’t think about the miles I’ve already covered. I think about what I’m doing right now, just being lost in the moment.” – Ryan Hall, American Olympic marathoner, who most recently ran the marathon in the London 2012 games, but dropped out at Mile 11 because of a pain in his right hamstring
“Aiming for the marathon is a task of sorts which can include terrific highs and lows.” – Bill Rodgers
“Set small goals along the way and don’t be overwhelmed by the process.” – U.S. Olympic marathoner Kara Goucher, who finished 11th in London, on training for a marathon