I sent the Spirit of the Marathon link to AJ. We found out it was filmed in 2005, and follows the runners through their training for the 2005 Chicago Marathon, which was when the two of us ran it. And as I've said a thousand times before, it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. Watching the preview of the documentary gave me goosebumps. I can feel the excitement and the nerves and the accomplishment all over again. It's powerful.
I felt the same way when I walked into the informational meeting for Team In Training this spring. We watched a video that documented the experience of others as they embarked on their marathon journey. Not only were many of them running for the first time, but they were taking part in a cause for the first time.
It brought tears to my eyes. And, people, I don't just cry. Sure, I cry when I'm angry or upset, obviously, but I'm not one to cry while I'm reading a book, or cry while watching a movie. Or one to cry over people I don't know. But I certainly cried when I crossed the finish line of the marathon. Mostly because I was three seconds away from dying, but whatever. The experience was emotionally draining, too.
I continue to contemplate if I'll ever run a marathon again after Nike ends. It's an amazing experience, it really is, but it takes such a toll on my body. I don't know that I'll ever be good at a marathon, but rather, it'll remain one of those feats I accomplish just to accomplish it.
The half marathon, on the other hand, is manageable. I can improve upon it. I can run several of them each season and come away in one piece. Sure, it doesn't have the same mental impact as the marathon does, but it's an accomplishment in itself.
Training for Chicago with AJ was one of the greatest summers I've had. We were like comrades. We struggled and we pushed ourselves and we crossed the finish line holding hands. And then, you know, subsequently wanted to die, but that's what was so powerful about it. We did it together. We got to share the experience.
And after watching the documentary footage this morning she emailed me to tell me she's registering for Chicago in 2008, and, did I want to run it with her again.
Looks like I got myself into it again.