Sunday, October 4, 2009

Marathon Running

Sorry I haven't been around for a while. I've been out of town running a marathon. I just got back and have decided to share some breaking news on Chaka's World before the normal news outlets get the story. I am retiring from marathon running. I'm sure all of my running fans will be disappointed, but I need more time for my family and other pursuits. I thought it would be best to leave the sport in my prime and go out on top. Okay, I have no fans and I suck at running, but I am still calling it quits on ever running 26.2 miles again.

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.


Kristina P. said...

My husband and I were talking about this at dinner last night. Why anyone would want to run a marathon is beyond me.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Hey, guy you were PDG. Chaka, you can probably guess my age, so it won't come as any surprise for you to learn I gave up running 40 years ago. I still walk 6 miles a day and I can happily report it doesn't hurt at all :-). I live in the town called the "Running Capital" of America, so I get to see folks run at high noon when its 95 degrees outside and in the snow with no shirts own. I'm glad you came to your senses. Try race walking. It lacks the cache of running, but there are competitions
and you'll meet a lot of really nice folks who aren't quite as driven as the runners. Race walking, by the way, is an Olympic event. Have a great day, my friend.

Jeanne Estridge said...

I admire you for doing something I never had the tenacity for.

Raine said...

yeah, marathons sound like a bad idea all around. Runners bodies are so messed up afterwards. Ill stick to walking - just to be safe :D

The Mauermans said...

If you get injured severely enough there are always wheelchair sports. I mean if you have to move that distance on your own power, you might as well do it sitting down. Seriously, if they had a marathon where you do the event laying on a hospital bed I would be more likely to try it, especially if a hospital orderly had to push me. That way when we come to a drink station I could call for a nurse to get me some ice water.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I can barely run up the stairs let alone a marathon! I'm impressed you've done it!!!!

MikkSolo said...

Usaually my experience has been that people that are drastically against marathons are overweight, and non motivated in general in their lifes.Luckily this is not the case with you Chaka. I may have one more in me, but am good doing 5k's for now. I hope you aren't so injured that you are now going to take months to get back to playing BBall again

Dawn Parsons Smith said...

Hats off to the marathoners of the world! I'm lucky to get my morning mile in every day! My kind of marathon is trying to hit all the really good Black Friday sales before all the goods are snatched up!

x said...

St George, UT?!!

Thats my stompin ground...well...almost. Its in Utah anyway.

I agree with you. Running sucks monkey balls! I'd much rather ride my bike. I am a speed demon! You get a fantastic workout and it isn't hard on your knees like running.

If you run a mile, no matter how fast you do it, you burn 110 calories. Cycling is all about the effort. The faster you go, the more you burn!

Plus you can put stickers on your helmet!! :) he he

I give you mad props for running a marathon! You can say you did it! You'll have that the rest of your life!

P.S. Land of the Lost is on DVD now. I've seen so many episodes now that I am starting to pick out Pakuni words. I thought you of all people would appreciate that.