‘Of course it was painful, and there were times when, emotionally, I just wanted to chuck it all. But pain seems to be a precondition for this kind of sport…It’s precisely because of the pain, precisely because we want to overcome that pain, that we can get the feeling, through this process, of really being alive.’
– Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
So Exhibit A and I ran a marathon today, and it was pretty tough! It wasn’t either of our first but, for me at least, it wasn’t any easier than last time. I’d trained better and I thought I was emotionally more prepared for the final 6 mile slog…but I’d forgotten how painful it was. I joked that I’d thought I might die around 22 miles last time but it didn’t seem like a joke when I was again limping around those last endless few miles, wondering why I’d put myself through it.
But now I remember. It’s because it feels kind of awesome! Yes I ache and yes I hurt, but I’m recovering fast and there’s a strange peace that comes with that recovery. We did a pretty incredible thing today and I’m ridiculously happy and proud and just plain satisfied. It is kind of awesome.
I wonder if I’ll forget the pain again. I wonder if I’ll ever want to do it again. I fear that I might…