Over the weekend (or maybe last week…I’m not sure) our friends at Runner’s World published an article about the pain of the marathon. And the marathon winning sometimes.
I was thinking about this as my next post, and then I listened to the BibRave Podcast about DNFs this morning, and I knew I had my topic.
The marathon is a beast. We all know this. The physical and mental fortitude required to not only complete, but do well in the race is ridiculous. And we’ve all had those races where the marathon wins. I think this is where we really see the “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” line really come into play.
Personally, I have DNF’d a marathon, but that was due to an injury that had been plaguing me (and that I didn’t rest) since early September. The marathon was in November. Nevermind that I couldn’t run 2.5 pain free miles the Wednesday before the race, I was running that marathon.
The DNF question is an interesting one. If you’re injured, then yes, don’t continue. But that if the marathon isn’t your day. Again I refer to my recent experience at Milwaukee (ironically, Milwaukee is where I had my DNF two years ago). It didn’t go my way from the start. Hell, I thought about dropping. But knowing I was healthy, that I had DNF’d two years prior; I wasn’t dropping.
I think it is valuable to continue those races. Frankly, it’s a learning experience. And the marathon is meant for us all to suffer in some way. This is how we become better racers in the future.
So if it’s hard, don’t quit. It’s supposed to be hard. That’s why you signed up to run, right?