Lately I have been thinking about training for and running a marathon. When I have mentioned it to my friends, I find that they are pretty impressed that I am even considering it. What is it about the marathon that is so special? Why are so many people awed by the thought that I might run such a road race? What is this mystique all about? - International Marathoner of Mystery
There are several reasons why so many are impressed with the distance and physical prowess required of marathoners. To understand why this is, you have to put yourself in the position of a non-runner. This is the same position I was in when I watched astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step foot upon the moon back in the summer of 1969.
I was sitting on the floor with a bag of cheese doodles in my lap.
It was pretty exciting. I had no idea how it was possible that human beings from the planet Earth could actually land and hop around the lunar surface, but there I was, orange cheese dust encircling my widening awestruck mouth, as Neil talked about a small step and a giant leap.
It was a delicious, inspirational, cheesy, historical moment in my life.
I was impressed with this event on many levels. Never before had I before consumed such a snack treat teaming with the goodness of corn starch and artificial cheesy goodness. The overpowering flavor of something that was reported to be a cheddar product of some sort was a taste phenomenon to experience.
Watching the black and white images on my television screen, I saw the venerable news anchor, Walter Cronkite wipe away a tear at this stupendous moment. To this day I am not sure how he was even aware that I was eating my first cheese puff snack, but there he was, behind the anchor desk, tears a flowin' while I consumed a bag full of cheesy goodness.
How all this came to be is a mystery that defies explanation. The marathon holds the same mysterious aura about it.
How is it possible, that a human being can run 26.2 miles within a single day?
In the daily lexicon of our lives, the term "marathon" often refers to impossibly difficult or lengthy tasks, often requiring some Herculean effort.
"This flight from Boston to Sydney is going to be a marathon trip!" someone might say.
"I will be watching the James Bond movie marathon on television this week" another might boast.
"We will be up all night doing a marathon study session" a college student might complain.
In all of these cases, the word "marathon" is used as a metaphor to describe an arduous task, taking excessive time and effort to complete. This only adds to the mystery of the event.
Compared to eating a whole bag of cheese doodles, running a marathon is both difficult and mysterious. While the common man can easily munch a bag of the cheesy goodness, the same cannot be said for running a marathon. A marathon requires dedication, training and perseverance.
It also requires a change in your eating habits, and sadly the cheesy delicacy made available in a bag of processed corn puffs is not compatible with the dietary requirements of endurance sports.
Run long and taper.