“So, what made you want to sign up for a half-marathon?” It’s a question I’m getting a lot lately, particularly after one of my semi-regular rants about my great distaste for running. “Stupidity,” is my go-to response.
I’ve long considered a half-marathon to be a bit of a bucket list thing for me. But, the more I train, the more I think, Wow, I must really be dumb to voluntarily do this to my body. On a good run (like this week’s LSD), that thought makes me smirk and shake my head. On a bad run (like last week’s LSD), it makes me want to lie down on the sidewalk until a cab comes to save me.
What business do humans have running 21.1 kilometres—FOR LEISURE? I’m all for exercise, but a nice little 3K jaunt seems fair, no? If you’re running for so long that your skin self-destructs (i.e. chafes) and you’re forced to desperately re-fuel so that your muscles don’t just give out on you, is that really a remotely good idea?
I’m not convinced it is; yet I’m doing this race anyway. I find solace in remembering that there are plenty other runners out there who are just as stupid, if not stupider, than me. I grew up with my marathoner dad teaching me about the wonder that is Ray Zahab, the Canadian who spent 111 days (!) running an average of 70K per day (!!) across the Sahara desert (!!!) Meanwhile, every time my dad would sign up for another race, I insisted he was knocking years off his life, or at the very least destroying all joints in his lower limbs.
Tomorrow, my coach Inga Boerma is going to run a 50-mile (that’s over 80K!) trail race in Collingwood, Ont. When we were running our LSD on Thursday—my first time doing the half-marathon distance—I was professing my amazement for her fitness level. Her “light” runs are my farthest ones. “Nah, it’s just a different level of stupidity,” she responded humbly. She also told me she might have to pee in a bag during this 10-hour quest, so that she can make sure there’s no blood in it (which indicates kidney failure). Uhm yea, that level of exertion seems stupid alright. But it’s also inspiring as hell.
Thanks to all you incredible runners in the world who motivate me with your insane talent, fitness and stupidity.
Catch up with Caitlin:
Caitlin’s Marathon Training Diary — Week 1
Caitlin’s Marathon Training Diary — Week 2
Caitlin’s Marathon Training Diary — Week 3
Caitlin’s Marathon Training Diary — Week 4
Caitlin’s Marathon Training Diary — Week 5