On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Decade of Marathoning

On 29 April, 2000, fresh out of college, I ran my first marathon: the inaugural Country Music Marathon.  I crossed the half at 2:08, hit the wall HARD at 17 (like, seated on a curb crying about how I couldn't go on), and struggled through the last 9 for a 4:55 finish.  I've yet to beat that time for a half in a race, but I have bested that marathon time at least (with a more even race).

How glad am I that I did it way back then, and not this year?  The course was bleak the year I did it, but there were no chaotic and disappointing diversions.

So it's been 10 years since my first marathon!  I guess I'll go buy myself some tin to celebrate my anniversary.  Wow.

The only time I've ever bought a race photo.  But, I remember saying to myself, "I'll probably never do anything stupid like run a marathon again, so I should buy the photo to prove I did it."


  1. Whoa... sad but true: I just noticed that I still have that sports bra. I actually wore it out running yesterday.

  2. I ran the Country Music 1/2 marathon a few years and loved it. Nashville's my hometown. I remember everyone talking about how horrible the course was.

  3. You look so happy in that photo. That's awesome.