Tomorrow morning is the Chilly Half Marathon, an event that takes place annually in Newton. I’m signed up for it, but not running. I’m getting over a mild case of shin splints and, honestly, I just haven’t trained enough to run 13.1 miles safely tomorrow. I had been thinking about running it anyhow, but realized that it’s more important to think about the long-term goal – the Boston Marathon – and that any injury now could set back my training, which obviously wouldn’t be good.
I feel strongly that you learn lessons through marathon training that aren’t necessarily related to running. The lesson here is a cliché – that it’s better to be safe than sorry. But it’s true, since I would rather take it slowly now and feel great in April. It would also probably look horrible to my Dreamfar students if I was unprepared for a half marathon but ran it anyway; my colleagues and I are always telling them that you “can’t fake a marathon,” and I think that goes for half the distance too!
But even without running the Chilly Half tomorrow, I still feel the excitement surrounding it. It’s hard to describe, but once you’re part of the marathon community, distance races – even ones you aren’t participating in – serve as a reminder to why we put ourselves through the sometimes arduous training process; the events embody the idea of community, shared struggle through the course fosters a bond among runners, and making it through the finish line feels pretty awesome.
Good luck to my friends who are running tomorrow! I’ll hit the road tomorrow too, but probably only for 5 miles…