Mid-Life Sampler Platter

Running A Marathon .. That's Done!

Mar 30, 2011 by

I got in my car the other day and the tripometer read ‘26.2’ and I thought to myself “This must be a sign that I should register for a marathon.”

I later realized that it was probably not the universe telling me to train for a marathon, but rather my car telling me that if I really feel the need to travel 26.2 miles, I should do it while seated and at a speed of 60-70 MPH, not on foot at 5 MPH.   That’s the problem with signs.  If you read them wrong, you may wind up doing something stupid, like running, or calling an ex.

I hate running.  Not that you can really call what I do ‘running’.  It’s more of a ‘wog’.  Not really walking, but slower than jogging.  For some reason I am stuck on the idea of running a marathon.

A few years ago I began training for one, but had to stop due to an injury.   The injury was met with extreme disappointment and a dash of giddiness at having a valid excuse not to run.  I did get back on the horse and began running again after things improved and completed a half-marathon last summer (yay me!), but the ghost of a full marathon still follows me around, taunting me.

You may be asking yourself , “Why would someone who hates running, or even someone who likes running (who LIKES running??), ever want to run 26.2 miles?” The answer for me is someone who seems to be going through a mid-life crisis.

Although I really don’t feel like ‘crisis’ is the appropriate word.  It’s more of a mid-life settling.  I don’t mean ‘settling’ as in settling for butter pecan ice cream when you really want mint chocolate chip, but ‘settling’ as in wiggling down into a big, comfy recliner.

That’s not to say my life is sedentary and boring, far from it.  In the last few years my life has become a buffet of activity.  I guess my mid-life settling is really more of a mid-life sampler platter. I get course catalogs from a local vocational school and mark everything that looks interesting and occasionally take a class that appeals to me.

Sometimes I hear about different things that sound fun and try to find friends who are interested and go with them, or just go on my own.  I become addicted to some of these things (yoga, kickboxing, running).  Other activities I find that I’m not suited for and cross them off of my list (kickball, quilting, pole-dancing, running), but the vast majority I like and plan to do again, just maybe not on a regular basis (kayaking, whitewater rafting, indoor rock climbing, roller derby, horseback riding, swimming, golf, running).

Sometimes I feel like a quitter when I try something and don’t go back to it.  I have to remind myself that walking away from something I don’t care for isn’t really giving up.

There are so many other wonderful things to try, it just makes sense to let go of the things that don’t work.  In spite of all of this, I still feel compelled to return to running, something I despise, and silence the marathon ghost for good.  Perhaps if I finally finish that marathon, I can say I sampled it and cross running off of my list to make room for a more enjoyable activity, like margarita tasting.

Graphic credit: Sold Out Live

About the Author

Sheila Strekal Has Written 6 Articles For Us!

I live in Cleveland, OH and work as a developer in Information Technology. Two dogs and a cat allow me to live with them, but only if I provide food. I have Activity ADD, so the things I do during my non-work hours change regularly. The things that have remained consistent are kickboxing and yoga. Kickboxing and yoga seem to be at odds with each other in a philosophical sense, but they are both wonderful ways to work out stress. My love of animals has also remained consistent throughout my life. Through the years I’ve had several people tell me I should share my writing, but I am an extremely private and somewhat shy person so the idea of letting anyone in scares the crap out of me.
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  1. Angela Kuhnen

    Sheila – you rock! You are a very inspiring person and a great writer I have come to find out : ) You are as motivational through words as you are with peer pressure : )

  2. debra pearlman

    I relate to so much of what you’ve written. One of my favorite quotes is from the film Auntie Mame (the original with Roslyn Russell)…”All the worlds a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” That may be a bit of a paraphrase, but as I settle into the comfy chair of life you talk about, I find my sense of adventure rekindled. I’ve dusted off the kayak (whitewhater & sea), cleaned my hiking boots up, and have decided that I have no need to lace up the old running shoes. Letting go of what we want to is a privilege we all have earned. Thanks for such a great post. Debra

  3. Great post….so true about walking away from doing something you don’t really enjoy is not the same as being a quitter. Although “bad knees” makes it easier when it comes to running.

  4. Sheila – Loved your reminder that life is has lots of adventures for us to try but that we don’t have to feel guilty if we don’t like what’s suppose to be ‘good for us.’ However, I’m always available to do Margarita tasting with you .. also guilt free!

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