The Marathon Challenge

“For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level. I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.”

-Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

The Marathon…

Phidippides collapses
Phidippides collapses

The manliest of manly road races, it separates the men from the boysit’s long and it’s tough. Marathon training is long and grueling and requires an unfailing commitment in order to be successful. Prepare incorrectly and you’re bound to suffer an injury or prolonged setback (cue my intermittent IT band issues). Prepare correctly, and you’re rewarded for your massive physical and mental effort. Crossing the finish line is an absolutely exhilarating feeling!

Ever since leaving for Lithuania in September 2011, I’ve had the personal goal of completing a marathon. Back then, I was only a beginner. Even now, I would only consider myself an intermediate runner. Sure I’ve completed a 5k here and a half marathon there, but having swam competitively in high school, I know there’s a huge difference between the fitness necessary for a 500 or a 1000 yard freestyle event. The same can be said for running a marathon versus a half. Though I’m capable of pushing a fast pace on training runs (<6:00/mi), albeit for short distances, my legs lack the foundation of miles to carry that pace for miles upon miles (limiting me from say: a Boston QT).

Our first Half Marathon
Our first Half Marathon

Bringing me to the point of this postmy next running goal is to compete in the Marine Corps Marathon on October 26, 2014. I will be running for Team Joslin of the Joslin Diabetes Center. For my first marathon, I have the following goals:

  1. Finish with a smile on my face
  2. Successfully raise $1,000 for the Joslin Diabetes Center
  3. Realistically finish in under 4:00:00
  4. Optimistically finish in under 3:45:00

I will be posting intermittently to track my progress towards these goals. Soon I will post a link to my Joslin crowdrise fundraiser page.

See you on the road!

-Ryan

 

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