Joan Benoit Samuelson on the Marathon

Earlier this week Joan Benoit Samuelson achieved a personal goal: she ran a marathon (the US Olympic Team trials) in under 2 hours 50 minutes after her 50th birthday. She says it may not be her last marathon, but it may be her last hard-run competitive one. Many years ago in her autobiography Running Tide she observed, in Chapter 8:

[Hitting the wall] taught me a lesson. Two lessons, in fact: you cannot go into a marathon unprepared, and anything can happen in such a long race.

The second lesson is one you learn at your peril, because once you're afraid of the marathon you have to develop ways of channeling the fear. I feel about marathons the way my parents taught me to feel about the ocean: it is a mighty thing and very beautiful, but don't underestimate its capacity to hurt you. ...

^z - 2008-04-22

(correlates: GuiltAndShame, SemiAstrophysicist, Inventing a Running Machine, ...)