No fewer than eight of my Facebook friends ran in the St. Louis marathon today. Eight. And I’m not one of the people with a thousand friends, either. One twenty-eighth of the people with whom I am considerably familiar on the Internet ran a marathon today. Do you know what a marathon is? If you pay attention to those smug 26.2 stickers on Scions and Versus and other full-sized Lego cars, then you do know what a marathon is. Twenty-six-point-oh-two miles. And you run them. Which is crazy. Like living in a tent and going the whole summer without turning on the air-conditioning, running 26.2 miles is something that scientific advances and modern life have rendered unnecessary. Admittedly, I don’t really understand running for recreational pleasure. I can see the point of running to stay thin or healthy (although I think the order of those should be transposed), and to prove something to yourself, 5Ks or half marathons are okay. But full marathons? You have to hate yourself to run full marathons. You have to want to feel like a sack of sweat and shit and garbage for the majority of the time spent hobbling along with a bunch of other mental health cases, some of whom are so physically exerted that they shit themselves. It’s true. I wrote about it once.
Granted, I have no direct experience with running a marathon, so I can’t attest to things like runners highs and being physically fit. But I did read about Pamie doing the Maui marathon, and it sounds like something a nun once told me about Hell. Pamie did the running and the sweating and the practically dying, so I assume she speaks with authority when she says that the only reason to run a marathon is if you hate yourself and think you should be punished. Because that’s what it is. Punishment. And you know what, I played enough sports and made enough bad decisions and worked in enough crap jobs. I don’t need more punishment in my life. I have no masochistic tendencies to begin with, so everything that’s already happened has been a series of unpleasant little accidents, and there’s no reason to intentionally punish myself further with a marathon.
Besides, if I was into punishment, I’d seek it out sexually like a normal person.