I am not a runner. I pretend to be one and will occasionally run a 5K for the T-shirt. Several years ago when I was having one of my mid life crises I saw a documentary on TV about marathons. I was amazed and very motivated at seeing all kinds of sizes, shapes, and ages of people triumphantly cross the finish line. I thought "If they can do that, then I certainly can". I ran my first marathon 2 years ago after training only a little over two months. As a public service, I wrote a post called How not to run a marathon in order to help people not make the same stupid mistakes I made.
When I ran my first, I was injured so badly and did so poorly that I told myself I needed to do it just one more time to prove to myself that I could do better. This year I was able to get into the St. George marathon so I told myself this wold be the time to do it. I trained for four months and was doing well until I severely sprained my ankle last month playing basketball. I couldn't run for 3 weeks so I was really stressed about how I would do with so much down time right before the race. I did much better than before, but at mile 16 I re-injured my knee and at mile 18 I hit the wall. As a result I ran the last 8 miles in pain at a slower pace. Even so, I was able to shave 30 minutes off my prior race time. That is the good news. The bad news is that my entire body is still in extreme pain and I can hardly move.
I think serious runners are crazy, but I respect what they are able to do. I honestly don't think running marathons is a healthy activity. I think training for them can be, but when you actually put your body under that much stress for that long, injuries are bound to occur. I have heard of studies that indicate that many marathoners get sick shortly after a marathon due to the stress they have put on their immune system for so long during the training process. I am going to be sticking with 5Ks for now instead of trying to be a marathon poser.