I’d like to believe that part of the reason why I run is for the runs when I cry. Not crying out of pain, but out of the pure, overwhelming joy of a cathartic run. The run where my legs are orchestrating their own symphony without any help from my head, the run where you get lost in the miles, the run where you are smiling ear to ear for no apparent reason. These are my favorite types of runs and one that I had on Friday while running 21 miles…on the treadmill.
This past weekend I went out of town for a slew of wedding planning events and I knew the ability to get my long run in would be minimal. Thus, I opted for a Boston simulator run on the treadmill (it’s still too dark at 5 a.m. and I’m not about to run alone. I’ve learned my lesson). After a quick Google search, I found this handy guide that would help me simulate the Boston hills on a treadmill:
With my elevation tips by my side, I plugged in my iPhone and chose to watch “Spirit of the Marathon” on Netflix instant streaming. That’s when everything changed.
At that time I didn’t know what I was getting myself into – I thought that the documentary would be just what it was described as, “…the first film to capture the passion, drama and essence of the famed 26.2-mile Chicago Marathon. Intimate, fascinating portraits of six runners from all walks of life unfold as the film follows seasoned athletes and amateurs alike in their preparation for the big race.”
What I didn’t expect was to be enraptured the way I was and be crying out of pure happiness for 21 miles. Not only does the film chronicle marathon pros like Deena Kastor and Daniel Njenga, but also the marathon journey for the everyday runner. From training, to injury, recovery and beyond, anyone who has ever run feels an intimate connection with the individuals in the film as they each share their personal stories. You find yourself cheering on their accomplishments and feeling the pain of each set-back.
Especially enlightening was the segment on women’s running and Kathrine Switzer’s story (the first woman to ever run the Boston Marathon). I couldn’t properly share the story as movingly as the film did, so ladies – I charge you to check it out.
In the final stretch of the film, the music heats up and you watch Deena and Daniel battle it out for their respective marathon champion titles. I couldn’t help but to shout at my screen, “Go…run…go….push it…” as if the race was happening on live TV. I won’t give anything away, but I will say that I cried at least three times while watching this documentary and “inspired” doesn’t even begin to describe the after-effect. I smiled, I laughed, I shouted, I cried…people at the gym must have wondered what in the hell I was watching.
Two Cent Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! If you’re a runner, or ever thought of runninng, I highly recommend checking out “Spirit of the Marathon.”
Day 85: 21 miles
Day 86: Rest
Day 87: 5 miles + hills