Saturday, November 5, 2011


There's something to be said about the metaphorical value of the word marathon

For some it may mean endless airings of docu-dramas or worse, that inane not-for-kids-but-they-watch-it-anyway cartoon about a yellow sponge and his motley assortment of idiot friends. 

For others it may refer to that great tradition of running for many, many miles for no apparent reason (but the sudden onset of insanity.)

For me, a marathon retains its literal meaning (read previous post for details here) but is quickly taking on the the meaning of my life at the present moment. 

I'm writing this post in a rather nicely appointed hospital room in the pediatric ward watching my son suffer from and fight pneumonia. It is the beginning of November and the poor child has already had 2 week long illnesses since the third week of September. And now this, which interestingly enough is the exact same weekend he was hospitalized for pneumonia 4 years ago. 

Last weekend I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in the middle of the Fatrunner's Life Is A B* Marathon (sorry, no t-shirts-this is a no-frills race)
  1. First, I fractured my ankle in June.
  2. Then, I couldn't run for 8 weeks.
  3. Then, I started marathon training late in the game.
  4. I was still in pain.
  5. I ran and I didn't.
  6. Then Irene came and the power went.
  7. Then school started (I'm a teacher-so this means THREE WEEKS AHEAD of the first day)
  8. Relative staying with me was hit by a car
  9. Then school started (I'm also a grad-student)
  10. Then school started (the students showed up)
  11. Then school started (The kid's in 3rd grade)
  12. Illness #1 visited the schoolboy
  13. Mom in ER
  14. I still had to train, work, write, mother
  15. Illness #2 visited aforementioned schoolboy
  16. Ibid #12
  17. Car #1 wouldn't stop on the road--> brake failure
  18. Car #2 broke down on highway a week later
  19. Ibid #16
  20. How to get to DC for Marine Corps Marathon?
  21. Rented a car-->bankrupt
  22. October Blizzard of '11 hits
  23. Treacherous driving to DC-many, many accidents.
  24. Marathon
  25. Returning rental: oh no, stuck in a ditch.
  26. Pneumonia strikes
What does marathoning mean anyway? Running 26.2 miles, of course. In the beginning, body and mind are synced, though not perfectly. The legs must acclimate to the demands of the mind, and they do so willingly. In the middle, mind and body work in tandem as well oiled machinery. In those last few miles, the mind takes over, the body defers. The body must keep moving. The mind is resilient, and so is the body.

Such is life.


  1. All WILL be well. C'est vrai.

  2. You forgot 10.5: Kid's delayed school start due to mold. But what's a week more of unplanned summer, right? But on a serious note I'm so proud of your marathon accomplishment. And this, too, shall pass.

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  4. You've got Job, as in the biblical, beat on the resiliency meter. I'm sure he could only eke out a 20k tops.