Marathon Men

There’s been much written about the “runner’s high”, a state of mild euphoria when endorphins kick in during extended distances. It doesn’t exist. Not for me anyway. The only high I feel is when I stop running. Nonetheless, I’ve invested almost six months and hundreds of miles of training culminating in several 18-20 mile Saturdays in preparation for the Chicago Marathon.

Why?

To raise money and awareness for wounded veterans through “Team Salute” and for “World Vision’s” goal to aid children in Africa. Also, my brother and I worked to achieve what we both thought was impossible. We trained together, each raised money for our charitable organizations and determined to finish The Race together or not at all. There was some apprehension since we never exceeded 20 miles at one time.

40,000 runners joined us to run on streets lined with over a million spectators, cheerleaders, rock bands and even a singing Elvis.  The record high temperatures made it very challenging but neither of us expected to hit “The Wall”.  Maybe it’s because we started the day at 3:30 am or that we didn’t eat breakfast or the heat. Possibly all three conspired to rob us of our legs at mile 20.  Suddenly it felt like struggling though quicksand. Spectators cheered us on even though we moved with all the grace of the Tin Man in slow motion, legs like stovepipes pounding the pavement. Our feet with all the dexterity of scuba fins.

Still we made it. Well, SN2 made it to the finish much sooner but we did beat Batman, Wolverine, Superman (must have been dying in those costumes) and a guy running with a ten foot Eiffel Tower over his head.  Now that it’s over I can relax for a few days. In fact I don’t have much choice since it’s hard to walk. Then  maybe work toward the Chicago Triathlon next year. We’ll see.

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4 responses to “Marathon Men

  1. Congratulations! I only run enough to keep the doctor off my back, a couple of miles every couple of days, but 18-20 miles? That’s awesome!

    • Thanks Chris. I noticed you had the same issue with blood pressure that I was facing. Either taking medication or doing something more constructive but It wasn’t the reason I began running. The Marathon was something big and for a good cause. The admittedly extreme exercise routine (was virtually seven days a week) didn’t make me much faster but it did allow me to reduce my blood pressure by 20 points back to normal.

      I now can now take my second class medical next spring with a passable blood pressure.

      • I wouldn’t have been able to carry you in my condition. Maybe drag you for a while but that’s it.

        Yep. I’m in. This time we run around the “wall” instead of into it.

  2. It was great running with you. The whole experience was a lot of fun until mile 20. After that, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the finish line standing up.

    Ready to try another one next October?

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