Proud Plodder here.
You see, not too long ago, my dad sent me a NYTimes article about fast versus slow marathoners; it was quite the interesting article with a very heated debate in the comment section.
Apparently, there are a great deal of snobby runners who think that, if you're not running a marathon at a certain speed (one of an unholy nature), then you have no place in the race.
To these swifter-than-thou runners I say: Bite me.
I do understand why different races have different cutoff times (the Disney Marathon requires no slower than a 16 minute mile, or finishing under 7 hours), as marathons are expensive events to maintain. However, just because I can't run the marathon in 3.5 hours doesn't make me less worthy of a runner.
The training and hard work I have put into this marathon are nothing to be sneered at, and though I may not be the fastest runner, I have most certainly put my heart into it!
Personally, I never thought that the amazing thing about marathons was the speed with which a person finished; I always thought the incredible thing was the distance. It's 26.2 miles, folks, and just to walk that is a big thing--if you want to brag about how speedy you are, go sprint 100 meters instead, and lay off the smack talk.
Yes, I believe it's amazing that people can finish marathons in such record times, but I think it's amazing (period) that people finish marathons!
So, come January 10th, I'll see how fast I really am--but more importantly, I'll see myself finish the race, which matters far more to me than how quickly I can run.
I hope that you who follow this blog aren't running snobs; I hope you understand that the biggest accomplishment really is crossing the finish line, no matter what the time.
And, if you're one of those snobs who feel that plodders like me have no place in marathons: I hope that by reading about what I'm going through, my obstacles and progress alike, you'll begin to see why speed doesn't always matter. Heart does.