Blog Master G

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“The Passion in Your Heart”

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 · 3 Comments

I’m reading Dean Karzazes’ second book, 50/50, in which he describes his journey running 50 marathons in 50 days across all 50 states. Though not quite as exciting and jaw-droppingly awesome as the adventures he describes in Ultramarathon Man (the 50/50 feat itself notwithstanding, of course) , 50/50 does have a passage that beautifully conveys the life-changing experience of running a marathon for the first time:

On the morning of your first marathon, the voice of doubt multiplies, becoming a full chorus. By mile twenty this chorus is screaming so loudly it’s all you can hear.  Your sore and weary muscles beg you to stop. You must stop. But you don’t stop. This time, you ignore the voice of doubt, you tune out the naysayers who tell you you’re not good enough, and you listen only to the passion in your heart. This burning desire tells you to keep moving forward, to continue putting one foot boldly in front of the other, and somewhere you find the will to do so.

Courage comes in many forms. Today you discover the courage to keep trying, to not give up, no matter how dire things become. And dire they do become. At the twenty-five mile mark, you can barely see the course any longer — your vision falters as your mind teeters on the edge of consciousness.

And then, suddenly, the finish line looms before you like a dream.  A lump builds in your throat as you cover those final few steps. Now you are finally able to answer back to that nagging voice with a resounding Oh, yes I can!

You burst across the finish line filled with pride, forever liberated from the prison of self-doubt and self-imposed limitations that have held you captive. You have learned more about yourself in the past 26.2 miles than on any other single day in your life. Even if you can’t walk afterward, you have never been so free. A marathon finish is more than just something you earn; a marathon finisher is someone you become.

As you are being helped away from the finish line, wrapped in a flimsy Mylar blanket, barely able to raise your head, you are at peace. No future struggle, doubts, or failure can wipe away what you accomplished today. You have done what few will ever do — what you thought you could never do — and it is the most glorious, unforgettable awakening. You are a marathoner, and you will wear this distinction not on your lapel, but in your heart, for the rest of your life.

– Dean Karnazes, 50/50, p. 140-141

Whether you’ve run one marathon or hundreds, “You Never  Forget Your First,” as the chapter is called. I get choked up every time I read the above passage because it rings so true.

In 19 days, I run my second marathon.

Tags: running

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Valerie // Nov 19, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    I got choked up reading this! I want to do the San Diego marathon as my 1st this year. I’m pretty sure I’ll cry going across the finish line! I hear SD is the best… is it true?
    See you, Pete and my running buddy on 12/7! Enoch and I will be cheering you on!

  • 2 Blog Master G // Nov 20, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Glad you liked this, too, Val! And woohoo re: San Diego! It was a beautiful course. I think CIM’s faster, though, so I’ll let you know in a couple weeks. 🙂

    Glad you’ll be there to cheer us on!

  • 3 Dean Karnazes Shout-Out // Jul 30, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    […] quoted Ultramarathon Man Dean Karnazes on my blog in the past, and on Saturday before the SF Marathon, I met him. He’s as much an inspiration in person as […]