Friday, May 23, 2008

Now I Remember Why I NEVER Wanted to Run a Marathon

I am excited to do this marathon in October, but I had to really get over some large mental blocks before I would even think about thinking about trying to decide whether to prepare for a marathon. In December and January when I was giving it serious consideration, I wasn't even remembering an image that was stored deep in my memory banks. This past week, that memory surfaced.


Flashback to the 1984 Summer Olympics. I was watching my first ever marathon. The best female runners were starting to come across the finish line. One of them looked like a stroke victim as she came 'running' (in a manner of speaking) into the stadium. One side of her body was stiff, she was running with a starboard list, and quite honestly looked like she was either going to die or lose control of all her bodily functions any minute. It was anything but pretty. At the time it was hailed as honorable and gutsy that she was finishing the marathon under the circumstances. She wouldn't let anybody help her or let the medical people touch her because it would have DQ'd her.

Being a couch potato at the time, I took one look at that and said, "not in a million years!!!!" There is honor, there is guts, and there is the stupidity of losing complete control in front of millions of people in order to finish a race that had already been won. Of course being 26 and naturally skinny without ever moving a muscle on purpose, I didn't see all the training and goals and whatever behind this rabid desire to finish the race. Not to mention that it was the first women's olympic marathon event ever.

I'm still not sure what I think of it....but that was my first ever look at marathoning. It's no great wonder I never wanted to push myself!

6 comments:

Ames said...

I hear you, loud and clear.

chris said...

Wow. She really does look like a stroke victim. Anybody know what happened to her?

jlou said...

Wow...just wow...

Alissa said...

Wow, I just read the story and watched the movie. Just remember, you won't be running a 2:30 marathon, so you don't need to worry about looking like that. I can't imagine running a marathon under the pressure of the Olympics. I found the story very interesting, thanks for sharing!

Topher said...

Just found your blog via Complete Running. I recently registered for my first full marathon. After watching THAT, though, I'm wondering if I really AM an idiot. YIKES!

Terri said...

Oh my god, you couldn't have said it better. Stroke victim is right. I am thinking that if I look like that, I just will want people to end it for me, permanently! And like Alissa said, we're not worrying about winning these races that we signed up for, just that we finish, so I doubt we'll be like that. Thank God.

I need to repeat what some other people said here - wow.