"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Sunday, December 04, 2005

the streets of sacramento...

....are flat & wide. I didn't keep very good track of what my individual time was in the relay today but I think I did a respectable job of holding up my end, especially since I had made no prior assurances express or implied. I had the thrill of crossing the finish line of a marathon under a timer that said 3:45-something. Several of the other women from Chico (on my team and other teams) mentioned they felt guilty breezing past the poor souls who were actually running the whole distance. I searched my conscience and found that I didn't feel guilty at all. Who blackmailed those people into running 26.2 miles? Who chased after them with a red-hot poker? Meaning no disrespect, and certainly no lack of empathy. However, barring accidents, running is a pastime in which you are a willing participant in any suffering you experience, and the suffering of 5.7 miles was so small compared to what I've experienced with 26.2 that it felt a little like happiness.

I wonder if I will ever decide to run another full marathon. I think I could be faster now if I trained consistently. But I've been having trouble remembering what is / was the point of running that distance. Just because some Greek did it and then died shortly afterwards. Oooh, how compelling! At least Philippides ran to get somewhere he actually needed to go.

Then there are Ultras, like the American River 50 miler, or the Western States 100. The idea of running that far has its charms, but I think it would entail more devotion to suffering than I currently have. Surely there are other compulsive behaviors disguised as heroic achievement that I could engage in with less stress to the knee joints.

No comments: