Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Run the Marathon to the Very Last Mile

I don't like to be insensitive to the fragility of life, but every time I see a news report where someone has died while running a marathon, I don't wish I was the person giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but I do wish I was next to that guy getting in the runners face during their last moments of life saying, "I told you so."

So while you are reading this, imagine yourself wearing short shorts and collapsed on the ground of some busy city street while hundreds trample on past you.

First and foremost, a MARATHON owes its name to a legend from ancient Greece about some dude named Pheidippides who ran 26 miles from a place called Marathon to Athens to spread word of a Greek victory over wouldbe invading persians. He made the run and shouted out "Nenik├ękamen!" (We have won or We are victorious) and DIED ON THE SPOT. Maybe that should be our first clue that the premise of this event may be on the unnecessarily risky side.

And let's talk about running in general for a moment. Yes, it's an athletic thing to do. There's no doubt about that. But, by running, aren't we really pointing out one of the many weak points in our human design? Most people can't even outrun flying bugs. Am I right or am I right? And I mean bugs smaller than bees. Can we outrun jungle cats? Housecats? Housecats have been pampered since before the time of Cleopatra.

I get bored when I run. Even my top speed is slow and tedious to the point that I feel like I should throw punches like Rocky Balboa to create an illusion like I'm doing something productive. And I don't expect to keep up with cars when I run but if you go to the top of a 100 yard hill and get ready to run to the bottom and you also put an unridden skateboard at the top of same hill and let the skateboard go while you run, I must say that my money is probably on the piece of wood with the 1.5 inch wheels to make it to the bottom first. Humans. Run. Slowly. That's why we invented bikes and roller skates.

This article says that their study found that only four of over 215,000 marathon runners died in the races they were watching. So I'm not saying that running is a risk to your health. I only stand behind my original statement that running is boring and depressing in a way and that I only run because it's better walking but don't get me started on walking because walking is extra-lame. What I AM saying about running marathons is that it is a tough way to find out about your underlying heart disease. And it seems like the simple thing to say would be, make sure you consult your doctor before preparing for a marathon, but what assurance does that really offer? Look at this Olympic runner Ryan Shay. It would appear that he regularly checked in with his doctor even with special attention being given to his heart. And now he's dead.

You know, there is a good chance that you could survive a ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel. If you made your own special barrel. You could even call it a sport. But just because you CAN doesn't mean you should. I've heard stories about people who have done the barrel ride but then died a day or two later from heart problems.

Why tempt fate? I don't think running of this kind is as good for you as you might think.

1 comment:

Megs said...

That is hilarious! I am a faily avid running (running 3 miles 2-3 times a week) and I know that it seems silly, especially when I am on a treadmill. I would much rather be running outside, but with the weather, I don't want to risk it. At least when I run outside, I feel like I have gone somewhere and gotten something accomplished. I dispise running on a track, but who wants to look at the same things over and over again? Anyway, I guess I could respond with a whole blog entry about this myself, but I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed this entry and I hope that I am not one of those people you read about dying while trying to run a marathon...