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Just keep running

| Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Right now, I can’t feel my legs. Or my feet for that matter.

In fact, I think I am currently in Runner’s Heaven, a place where you can’t feel your legs, where the gatorade is always cold, and where the weather is approximately 63 degrees with a light breeze.

If I’m in Runner’s Heaven, then my body is somewhere on the avenue where I hit Mile 16. The girl wearing size 10 Saucony Rides? Yup, that’s me. Because I thought it would be a good idea to train for something called a ‘marathon.’

I find it extremely ironic that the term ‘marathon’ refers to a Grecian town where the Athenian army defeated the Persians during a battle in 490 BC. The word is accurate, because marathon training is definitely a battle.

Each week, you push the body a little harder than it has ever been pushed before. A positive attitude is mandatory, because running with a grumpy self for two plus hours is miserable. I promise.

Naturally, that’s why you need an excellent training buddy. The weekly long run begins laughing at the previous night, and then ends cursing the previous night while scheming how to convince all your non-runner friends to have a movie night next weekend that includes large bottles of water and bowls of pasta.

Despite being a mental and physical battle, marathon training is fun, I promise. A long run two weekends ago gave me an excellent excuse to experience sporadic torrential downpours and flash flooding in the streets of South Bend. Why dance in the rain when you can run in the rain, am I right?

Training gives me plenty of time to think about the world. For example, I often find myself asking “Why?” First of all, why did Pheidippides have to run 25 miles to announce the victorious news to the Athenians? Were horses not an option? Also, why the additional “0.2?” Apparently that extra distance was added so runners would finish in front of the royal family’s viewing box during the 1908 London Olympics. Excellent.

But then there is also the persistent question of “why not?” Hundreds of thousands of people have raced this distance before me, my own mom included. I imagine there is something deeply satisfying about conquering the distance. It is as if the final 26.2 mile race is the runner’s own victory run, celebrating the previous eighteen week battle that made him or her stronger than ever before.

So join me in putting your legs up and raising a gatorade to the runners of the world, especially the runners who scare away the geese when I am running the lakes. Keep up the good work,  you are greatly appreciated.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Kathryn Marshall

Kathryn Marshall, Saint Mary's College '17, is a Biology and Humanistic Studies double major. Follow Kathryn on Twitter @kmarshallSMC

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