What’s in a Name?

A Marathon by any other word would be as daunting?!

It’s time again for one of those obligatory part entertaining, part reality, and part sarcastic posts on running… specifically, running pertaining to marathon training.  Yeah, I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I’m participating in the New York City Marathon on November 6th.

OMG WAIT WHAT?!  Ah, that’s like 50 something days away… and getting closer every day… and recently like I have hardly run more then 3 or 4 miles at at time… and it’s been SO HOT and I don’t know what I was thinking when I got myself into this… and just NO!

Well, not NO but oh goodness help.

Ok, done panicking for now, cause the fact of the matter is that I will be participating in this iconic race and while I may not have the best time ever I am going to complete it.  I am going to cross that finish line on my own two feet no matter how long it takes.

I love the various reactions I get when I mention I’m training for the marathon because it ranges from “you are crazy” to “me too!  How is it going” to “Good for you but I’d never to that”.   Other then that it’s running (or walking, dragging, crawling) yourself 26.2 miles all at one time, what is it about a marathon that makes it sound so daunting?

Perhaps it’s the physical demand.  Maybe it’s the time commitment to training and the gym.  No, I got it— it’s the financial side- signing up for all those races and paying for countless pairs of shoes and clothes for ALL types of weather.  No, that’s not it either?  Well then I suppose it’s a combo of all of the above and then some.

Personally it’s the name… the word marathon, that just sounds so big and intimidating (and long).  Unlike a 5K or 10K, the distance is not part of the title.  You don’t really know how long it is just from throwing the word around.  You either know the distance or you don’t and you don’t worry to ask because it sounds intense and long anyway.  Then of course half marathon still doesn’t have and distance notated in it, but it’s clearly shorter… so more doable and less intimidating… sort of.

There isn’t much else to call a marathon.  But what gets me is when people call a half marathon a “Mini Marathon”.  That I don’t like.  I find this title to be demeaning and belittling, like “aww, how cute you ran your mini marathon of 13 miles”.  Well there is nothing mini about it and there is still plenty of training and planning and spending involved.

And something else that is truly intimidating is the “ultrathons”…  no way I’m heading out for 50 miles!

oops, off on a tangent… coming back from that now.

It all comes down to the name.  No matter where we run it or who we say it.  A marathon is a marathon is a marathon.  It’s 26.2 consecutive miles that loom on the calendar for months  and take so many more hours and miles to train for that there is always a moment of “What am I doing!”  The nice thing to know, is that you are not along.  Maybe during your training you are, but when it’s show time on race day you are surrounded by tons of other runners and spectators.  You are surrounded by a community and that energy come up and sweeps you along just when you wonder if you can go another mile.

So, I guess whatever we were to call it, anything that means 26.2 miles run at one time will be daunting… but runners will continue to pound out the miles again and again.

Who is in training for NYC 2016?  What other races are you all working on?




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