someone I know was recently gushing about how “I ran my PR at the PBR Marathon, the best 10K marathon I’ve even done… God bless the organizers”…. I’ve been there done it all and now I am on a break from the running circuit coaching the wife and kids so that at some point we can all four of us go running ultras…. but yeah along the way I’ve been an inspiration to many and they do come over and yeah they gush….
I was a little intrigued though, was there an actual marathon at the end of the rainbow? No? Ok maybe even a half marathon? Nope…. then why refer to a 10km run as a marathon? I mean that’s not the craziest… even 5Ks are nowaday called “marathons”… Imma like but wasn’t there a dead guy at the end of the original ~42K, like he had just enough steam left to shout “Niki!” and then he like died for reals? So why bastardize that whole religiously sacrosanct figure of 42.16km and call any distance a marathon?!
I started doing long distance runs about 11 years back. At that time the culture had not yet become mainstream. So much so that the ladies in the building came up to my wife and asked “is he ok, did the doctor ask him to start running for some reason?”…. I remember seeing almost no other runners on the road but then I usually slinked out at 5AM when most people were sleeping so maybe that….yeah I hit PBR with a vengeance much to the chagrin of well wishers who used to say “is it safe running next ot the highway with all those fast cars and bikes whizzing past?”… almost never had a running buddy well at least never one who lasted but then again my objective was more of enjoying the experience…. I ran half marathons almost every other day (I have runkeeper data to back myself up but then you can go fuck yourself if you don’t trust me coz again I was in it for myself not for some lousy medal at the other side of a finish line and certainly not to prove anything to the world). I never entered myself into a formal organized marathon…. well ok two …of which one was a duty entrusted to me by my younger brother who got posted out of mumbai and had already signed up for the half marathon (I ran this with his bib and bad viral fever…. ended up having to take a longish break because of the damage it did physically) and another because the organizers were friends and it started from near home…. I never signed up because I felt and still feel very strongly about the hypocrisy of it all “so you will take a plane, then a train and a bus to reach the start line just so you can go run a marathon to save the environment? Nice, I hope that plane is powered by gobar gas for the sake of the environment! No just saying….”
The thing is that to each his own. Some people make a great life out of being fakes and honestly I guess more power to them. The world lives on hustle today, every single person out there is living the adage “fake it till you make it” and more often than not the best way to achieve does seem to be just this mantra. Fake it till you make it. Just that for me somehow life is now, not in some future date, time and place. I want my now to be true to who and what I am. If I say I ran a marathon I would bloody well have run a marathon and not a measly 5K which I pretend is what a marathon is, if I write a book it will be something that comes from my head and heart not borrowed snippets from all over the place distilled and repackaged on KDP followed up with a nutty as fruitcake marketing blitzkrieg. Let your work speak for yourself, I wonder what happened to that. Now it’s mostly about taking the megaphone and going on and on about it till people tire out, turn around and say “yeah ok, now go F off”….
So anyway coming back to the pretenders running marathons when they’ve done 5 or 10K…. I thought about it and then something clicked…. “runs” yeah these should be called 5K runs, 10K runs…. but then the phrase “got the runs” came to mind. Yeah potty humor is what all this was all about all along, did I trap you with all that psychobabble about truthfulness, doing things for yourself spiel? So sorry…. So yeah people probably figured out that if they were to say I love my 5K runs timing or some such it might make other people (mostly cockey comics like me) say “oh how bad you should try rest and lots of fluids”…. so they say “my 5K marathon PR” instead…. I know like even right now I’m rolling my eyes and thinking “yeah right!! like these pretenders have any idea about what you’re saying… you do live in hope”.
Anyway I guess the pretenders and the fakers will carry on partying till kingdom comes (or cums as most of these guys are in a hurry so saving a letter, or two, is very important for them you see…. much like that idiot who inches ahead at the traffic signal and jumps a red light just 15 seconds before everybody else crosses over legitimatley… like Bravo! slow clap) and the organic crowd that is doing it correctly and for themselves will carry on in their own world and never the twain shall meet (hopefully). To each his or her own just that I still believe being truthful and clear about why really you’re doing what you’re doing is important. Like the song goes do you want to end up where “You’ve crossed the finish line… Won the race but you lost your mind…. Was it worth it after all?”