Sunday, December 5, 2010

Novel Idea

I was out on a long run over Thanksgiving weekend and thinking about how I've responded to the question, "why do you have to run so far?" I've been asked that a few times (okay, maybe once), and it was difficult to put into words why going beyond the marathon distance is appealing. Most people can accept running 26.2 miles, but start talking 31, 50, 62, or 100 miles, and it seems you lose them.

So here I am on my run of several hours, and I start thinking...

I like to read. If I were limited to novels of no more than 100 pages, just think of the loss of character & plot development that would occur. When an author is afforded as many pages as needed to tell their story, they have time to weave some masterful tales. Then I thought about some series: Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter. What if the authors stopped after one book? If someone asked me why I liked a particular story, I'd probably say that it was a kept me on the edge of my was a satisfying use of my time...I learned something....I was entertained.

In a similar way, running long distances provides that time and space for the run to develop. You go through a lot and see & experience much along the way. The plot (and sometimes cast of characters) grows with every twist and turn...much like a good story. When it ends, everything I said above could be said about a long run. It becomes much more than a jog to stay in shape. It's an adventure that keeps me excited to see what's around the next corner.


  1. Thanks Mallory, although I think you mean deep in the "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy" kind of way, right?