Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for Marathons


is for Marathons.

This one fits firmly into the "things that are confusing" category for me.

Now, I know that some of my readers will take offense to this. Many of my readers are runners. Maybe they even run marathons. They might feel a bit slighted by my inability to understand marathons. (If you are one of those people, I hope that you'll love me anyway after this post.)

But why would anyone want to run 26 miles?

And ... (wait for it) ...why would anyone actually pay money to be able to do it?

Colour me flummoxed.

When people tell me that they've run a marathon, I tell them how impressed I am. And I really am impressed. But I always have to hold back my natural reaction, which would be to furrow my brow and cock my head to one side and utter one small word: "Why?"

Even the source of the word marathon begs the question why: Greek legend says that Pheidippides ran 26 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce that they'd been victorious against the Persians. And then he died.

So, yeah. Marathons. Run and then die. Sign me up.

Now, it's no secret that I'm not a runner.


In fact, two of my very earliest posts were about running disasters:


a tag injury...


...and public humiliation at the gym

I can bully myself into running 5k or so, but I'd much rather hike, or cycle, or paddle, or walk. Or watch Firefly - again - on Netflix. Or clean the toilets.

But still, I can kind of see the appeal of running. It's natural and doesn't require a lot equipment. It may very well mean the difference between life and death in the upcoming apocalypse.


I can grudgingly admit that running makes sense.

But marathons? I don't think I'll ever understand those at all.

. . . .

A Clay Baboons Alphablog: 26 Things That Annoy Me, Confuse Me, Creep Me Out, or Otherwise Make My Life More Difficult.



60 comments:

  1. Awesome as always Stephanie!! :) I too do not get marathons. It seems everyone is doing them too - short tall skinny fat totally fit and totally just had a baby. And I think to myself zomg why am I not doing a marathon?

    OH YEAH. I don't bloody want to!

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  2. I think this may be my favorite thing you've ever done!!!

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  3. I can't even do 5K. Can't bring my body up to that level. :P

    (I, too, have to wonder why you would pay to run.)

    -Barb the French Bean

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  4. My response when someone says they ran a marathon is always, "Why? Is your car broken?"

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  5. This is great! I am actually in remission from running a half marathon (read: I haven't put on my running shoes in the 2.5 months since my first half marathon). For me, i get the same feeling of accomplishment from doing my training menu as I do from Nanowrimo. But when I'm done, I don't want to do it again, ever. Until it's November again and I think of a new idea for a novel... At this point, I don't think I ever want to run a full marathon, though.

    (I love your other running stories, too. I never use a treadmill, so when I had to use one at the running store, they clipped a thing on my shirt to make sure I didn't fall off...)

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    1. Actually, I can totally see the sense of accomplishment. Confession: there may be just a sliver of "out-of-shape lazy hater" in today's rant. Ha! I don't even wish that I wanted to run a marathon, but i do wish that I liked to run.

      And I won Nanowrimo for the first time this past year! I loved it, but even trying to reread what I wrote now makes me cringe.

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    2. Congrats on the Nano win! I've done six so far, and the writing's been getting steadily worse... My first one was at least okay for the first half. Most of the recent ones don't last through the first chapter, lol.

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  6. I used to do that. It's one of the reasons I have metal and plastic knees now. I climbed quite a few of the fourteeners too. It's better than drinking, and you get to eat a ton. The fanatical people that do that are usually infectious. Why do people knit? Nobody wears the stuff. It makes you a dopamine addict.

    You pay to go to a concert that plays music one percent of people might listen to. You're right, it's stupid. I think Dave Barry said there is a fine line between a hobby and insanity.

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  7. Knitting doesn't make you a dopamine addict, running does. Oh, and you become much thinner.

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    1. Bahaha! Laughing out loud because I reread your first comment a few times trying to figure out why knitting would make you a dopamine addict.

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  8. I liked your zombies! I run a bit in the winter at a local indoor track above a hockey rink. I tried a treadmill but don't like not going anywhere. At that track, it's cool because you can watch hockey and figure skating practices. I'm certain i would never do a marathon but it is nice to feel like you are headed somewhere when you run....or walk. Plus it's free, so that's a bonus too. :)

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  9. techincally, I only run half marathons. Which makes wayyyyyy more sense, right? Right? sigh.....no. It doesn't. Though my RunZombie app makes it seem like a life or death situation, so I can run with that...(heehee, I'm so funny with my puns)
    And there is a line between dedication and stupidity, I crossed it this week when I ran 17k in the hail.
    And Steph, (I call you that cause we're tight now :)this is Canada. A marathon is definatly 42km. :)
    You make me laugh every single time. Love it.

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    1. You can call me whatever you want! And as for the km/mile debate...well, you're absolutely right. And if I were a runner, then I'd use km...but I only ever read about marathons, usually on American sites that use miles. Is that a good excuse?

      And I'm actually contemplating that app! I think that I might actually run if I had it!

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  10. Me neither. I volunteered at a 5k recently and was like i..can't...do...that

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  11. The only running I manage to do is when I'm sprinting towards one of my children whose about to kill themselves in one imaginative way or another (usually involving heights they've traversed)

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  12. I'm with you on this one for sure, Stephanie!!

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  13. Luckily or Unluckily depending on your viewpoint I have scrambled feet so I cant run, apocalypse or not. So if the apocalypse should turn up I will protect myself with chocolate......

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  14. I want to want to run. I want to think that I can make my body do such a thing? I am. Impressed that. You. Talked clay stefanie into using the treadmill! (not sure why so many periods keep getting typed...it can't be my poor skills...nah)

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    1. "I want to want to run" <-- Yeah, me too. Yesterday's post may have been inspired just a smidge of jealousy for natural runners.

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  15. The world's largest and oldest ultra-marathon race , Comrades Marathon, which is approximately 88 kilometres (56 miles), is an annual event which takes place in my city, here in South Africa. Every year thousands of visitors from all over the world invade the city to watch this spectacular event.
    I'm not a runner... but to watch these ultradistance runners is quite something. I think it requires a special mindset - but it is a bit crazy too!
    My hubby always says, why do I have to run, even 5km, when I bought a car which I'm still trying to pay off?

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    1. 88 kilometres? That's just...wow. I don't even like to drive that far, because I get bored in the car.

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  16. haha! i love this post, stephanie...and i am a runner!
    i cannot disagree with your point of view - it IS pretty funny to think of paying ~$100 to put yourself into a painful state.
    my favourite line is from my brother who cannot fathom why i would like to watch marathons on tv...as he sees it, "they're still running!" (in contrast to say, hockey, where you actually change direction). so, i do have a sense of humour when it comes to marathons.
    "colour me flummoxed" -> i want to steal this line.

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    1. You don't have to steal it! I'm giving it away for free!

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  17. There's also the Tough Mudder competition designed by British Special Forces. It's an extreme obstacle course (think icy water, electrocution, fire) that last for 10-12 miles. Why? So you can call yourself a "Tough Mudder." Very manly.

    I also notice your "u" in colour. Are you British?

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  18. I totally don't understand marathons either. The only race I would consider paying to run in would be the Krispy Kreme Challenge (go ahead and Google it and find a bunch of AWESOME!!).

    I love, love, LOVE your zombies at the end of your post, they made my night! :D

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    1. Would I lose all my street cred if I told you that I don't like Krispy Kreme donuts?

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  19. The paper treadmill! Brilliant! You are so my hero.

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  20. Don't feel bad. I've done numerous 5ks and have (so far) completed 2 half marathons and even I don't understand the appeal of running a full marathon (heck, I'm trying to figure out why we were nutty enough to do the 2 halfies that we did....).

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    1. Confession: I'm kind of jealous of runners. Kind of.

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    2. I too am jealous of runners.

      You should read my post:
      http://missysrandommusings.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-have-i-done.html

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  21. People get high (a bit) when they run, I think - maybe that's why it's popular...

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  22. I don't get it either. But some people have to run, and I know a few...it's in their DNA.

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  23. I ran a 5K and thought I was going to die. Bleeding nipples, stress fractures of the leg or hip, puking... why? Why would anyone WANT to do that?!?

    And I actually snorted when you said you'd rather clean toilets. Snorted!

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    1. Did all of that happen to you in only 5k? Ha!

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  24. OMG, I laughed out loud. Really! The clay illustrations are fabulous. Hilarious & fabulous. I'll be following.

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  25. No offense taken. I actually don't even LIKE running, really. I do it because ... hm ... because it's expedient? ;) Because it's good practice for the zombie apocalypse.

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  26. I, too, would rather clean toilets than run. And I HATE cleaning toilets.
    I have friend who runs marathons all the time. Her favorite one is the race where, at the end, they give you a creamie (ice cream bar). Yep, $100 for two hours of torture and an ice cream.
    I'm holding out hope that someday, someone will invent a pill that makes it possible to get the effect of running while sitting on my bed watching 'Say Yes to the Dress'.

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  27. This is excellent - I am totally with you! (And it made me go back and visit your running mishaps - oh, how I chuckled! Sympathised with both though, especially the tag one - there've been some close calls!) I can't run for more than about a minute. Sometimes I totter for a bus. That's about it.

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  28. hahahaha - I totally agree - and my guy just ran his first 10K today! He's aiming for the L.A. Marathon next year ::shudder::

    My knees and ankles and hip flexors hurt just thinking about it

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  29. Hilarious posts you got going here this month!
    Actually, it's true, there was a half marathon in my town to weeks ago and someone did die just at the finish line. Not kidding! The guy wasn't even 40yrs old and collapsed - and died on the way to hospital. And yes, he was well trained and fit, plus had done numerous road races before. Yikes.
    With that said, I like to run but I would never sign up for that long of a distance

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    1. Seriously? Oh, now I feel bad. It's only funny when people don't literally die.

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    2. Yes, it's true. But please don't feel bad. These things can and do happen in any sport so in my opinion you actually have a good point here.

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  30. Runners never smile while they're running. This tells me it's not enjoyable.

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  31. My mom used to say that about runners not smiling. I would sit in the back of her car and think, "Looks like they're having fun to me! I'm going to become a runner!" But I have to agree with you--why do we crazy people pay money to run 13 or 26 miles? So very true.

    But clean toilets???? That's serious. Cleaning toilets ranks right up there for me with climbing into the crawlspace of a house--hate. I clean far too many of them. And--this is particularly annoying--they get dirty again. Sigh.

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    1. I actually thought about you when I wrote this post! And yeah...I'd rather clean toilets than run. But I'd rather read a book than clean toilets. So in the end, I neither run nor clean. Ha!

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  32. I ran cross-country in high school, and it was pretty torturous. I think I was more speed than distance - probably should've ran track, now I'm too old and lazy. LOL Love your claywork - and not sure if anyone mentioned this already, but there are seems to be a phenomenon of marathons sweeping the nation called Run For Your Lives, and they are zombie marathons. No. Thanks!

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  33. Right now I'm trying to work my way up to 10 miles. I will be very impressed with myself if I get to 10 miles...and if I get to half a marathon...wow..I'll be amazed. But, 26.2 miles...I don't see myself ever being able to do that (but knowing how I feel after 9..I can't believe there are people who will run another 9, plus almost another 9).

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  34. Okay wow. First I found Super Human's blog, and then because I found that blog I found this blog. Today has been a good blog reading day indeed - what a fun post!

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  35. HA! Fun post. I, too, would rather clean the toilet than run a marathon. Or run around the block. Or to the mailbox. Thanks for visiting my blog. Figured I'd return the favor. I love all your A-Z posts, and the clay figures you use to illustrate them are great. Good luck with the rest of the challenge.

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  36. I have some friends who run half marathons. I don't get it. But then, I can't run more than half a block, because my lungs refuse to cooperate.

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  37. I tell myself this all the time. I live in America in 2012, I don't need to run anywhere...but I keep doing it, like an idiot.

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  38. I signed up to run, wait for it...100 miles. I couldn't go through with it because I got sick while training.

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  39. I can do a 5k, but that's about it. I can't imagine running for that long...unless I could wear special glasses that allowed me to watch Netflix (and still see where I was going) while I was running. Even then...I'd end up walking most of it.

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  40. Part of me wishes I could be a runner. Not necessarily marathons but that wake-up-and-get-3-miles-in-before-work kind of runner. I jog but it just gives me shin splints and then I lose all motivation for it.

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  41. I suck at running and it pisses me off when my runner friends say things like, "you just have to take it slow, start with just a mile". Are you kidding me, I can't make it half a block.

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  42. I don't understand them either....and even watching someone run one makes me nervous. Joe runs them, and he hates them...and each time he says he's never doing it again, but then he does. And I watch nervously again.

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  43. I'm not a bad runner, I just do not enjoy it. A friend of mine tried to tell me about 'runner's high'. I told her I'd rather eat brownies. At least the high that comes with that involves chocolate. - Ashley S :)

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