This was written 12/13/20, as I started my road to Carmel Marathon 2021
It’s late and I am trying to quantify why I run. What’s the drive to lace up my shoes and take to the pavement one foot strike after another. The thought has percolated through my brain and ideas have come and gone, some great yet, some mediocre, yet none written. Tomorrow I start the training to what is in actuality my third marathon. I would say fourth since I ran over 20 miles in Chicago in 2016, but while that has a seeded reason in why I run, a marathon in the end it was not, even if I did get to cross the finish line and have a post run brew.
Many of the roads leading to the answer to this question stem from my mother. It turns out she started running in the mid-90’s and none of us were any the wiser. I know I was a teenager, living in exile in the Dominican Republic, but you would think I would have still noticed or cared. Yet I did not! I feel every day like a terrible son for not knowing or showing support. I did not show support either as she started traveling to run, and doing this crazy thing called marathoning over and over again. Today though, I understand so much more. Eventually back then, I did get involved and I did make sure to wait for her at indicated locations when I could to cheer her on. In her last marathon in 2016, her first and for now her last since a terrible car accident in 2015, I ran over 20 miles following her and my sister Annie all over Chicago. Doing the last few miles with them and even crossing the finish line.
Here’s the thing, I look back at Chicago and while I could see my mother was in dire pain. That every step was excruciating, she moved on. She struck her feet on the pavement and kept moving forward. Staying ahead of the pace vehicle, to make sure she completed the course within the preset limits. I don’t remember the pain when I think about it. I remember the fortitude, the drive, the sheer will it takes to cross that finish line when your body is at odds with your mind. That weekend in Chicago, my mother took me from a person that occasionally ran a few miles here and there. A person that does a charity 5k here and there. To someone that trained to run a half and RAN IT! Before I even took to the road for that half, I had also decided that I would do a Marathon. Scary when you cross the finish line for the half and think, wait, I have to do this all over again for a marathon. My mother reminded me when I told her, that training makes all the difference.
Why else do I run. I have read many books that delve from running with god, to running for health, to running for mental well being and so forth. Every running book I read shines a bit of light into a piece of why I run. I run, not because I want to race and be great. I run not because I need something to do to work out. I run, because running has become a part of who I am. It has become a matter of self. I do not see a life in which I don’t lace up and run. By that same coin, I am a goal driven person, and while I remember finishing the 2019 NYC Marathon and thinking never again, I will never again run a marathon. I will stick to the half, such a good distance, challenging but doable. I lied to myself. My goal driven approach will not let me run half of anything. Full or bust!
So, I run because even though, I may not be as fit as I want to be, or as good as I want to be. I am a runner. As a runner, I need goals. Those goals today are races where I have to push myself. In that pushing, I do have conversations with a higher power. In my case a catholic god, or some semblance of what that might be. In that pushing, it works towards mental health. When you are doing a long run and just taking one step after another for 3 hours, you can’t but not think and put the pieces of your life’s puzzle together. The inspiration for all this being my mother who never gives up, and continues to train to this day to once again at some point run 26.2 miles! Who ran, for years upon years without the support she deserved from us, her family.
I run, to run. Roddy Logic at it’s quintessential best. One step at a time, RodGic!
The road to Carmel Marathon in Indiana starts now! I’m keeping a personal journal of my road. This is also the first time I pay someone to train me, hopefully helping me breaking the 4 hour barrier, but at the very least, helping me finish this training healthy and have attainable goals and plans to cross that finish line strong, and not nearly dead as I did in 2019. Thank you XPlora!