Betcha Can’t Run Just One

An imaginary, turned real life, runner friend recently compared marathon running to eating Lays potato chips.  You know Lays’ slogan, “Betcha can’t eat just one.”  My friend said marathons are like Lays chips, except they hurt more.  Betcha can’t run just one.

I think some people can run just one.  You know the people I’m talking about.  The ones who have a Bucket List that includes running a marathon.  The ones who complain about the training and their aches and pains and don’t even really like running.  They can do just one.  For the most part they are running it just to cross it off their Bucket List and be done with it.  These people can run just one.

But there are the rest of us marathon runners who would lose the bet.  Who can’t run just one.  We are the ones who love running, no matter what the weather conditions.  We are the ones who set our alarms for pre-dawn on a weekend morning, so we can get our 20 milers in before the day starts.  We are the ones that love the hurt of a hard speed workout.  We are the ones who sacrifice a night of alcohol and fried food because we know we have a hard workout the next morning.  We are the ones who scour training books, race plans, internet forums and anything else we can get our hand on, in order to learn more about running.   We are the ones who, within days (or hours or even minutes) of crossing the finish line are looking at our calendars and to see when we can do our next marathon.

How ’bout you?  Can you run just one?

6 thoughts on “Betcha Can’t Run Just One

  1. I hear what you’re saying and I understand what you mean about the addiction of it all. I have to disagree with grouping those who can just run one as Bucket Listers though. I know people who run way more miles in their training than you or I and have never run a marathon. Some of them never want to. It’s not necessarily the aches and pains of running or the fact that they don’t love running because they do. It’s not that they don’t sacrifice or study endlessly about running. They simply have no desire to tackle the distance, instead, preferring shorter, faster stuff which is incredibly impressive in itself. And others think the marathon is wimpy and go for even longer distances. Personally, I feel like if I continue on with the marathon distance I’ll be beating myself over the head with a stick. Veni vidi vici. On to other things. But for those that love the distance and continue on with it again and again, I have a lot of respect, mostly because I can’t do that.

    1. Hi Jill –

      Right, I know there are the people you describe that like the shorter/faster stuff, or the ultras, or the trails. My post was directed at those who choose to run the marathon in the first place and get addicted to it – for the most part I think they can be described as bucket listers, or addicts. 🙂 And then, like you say, people move on to different things. But mostly after being addicted to the marathon for awhile. Like you. Even though you say you’re moving on to different things, you got sucked into the whole marathon thing and couldn’t run just one! I remember before your first marathon you said it would just be a one time deal and then posting “told you!” on KR when you started talking about #2 shortly after finishing #1. By the time you move on after Boston next year, you’ll have run 4! That’s what I meant by Betcha Can’t Run Just One.

  2. Yep, I totally agree. And you just completed your argument (for me at least) a little more completely by adding one tiny phrase in there that I can agree with: “for the most part”. I still disagree that it’s an either/or situation. My best friend would love to run a second marathon, especially with me, now that I am running (she picked up running a few years before I did) but she has been having undetermined health issues which has pretty much made running another marathon impossible.

    But that’s okay, we’re allowed to disagree and it boils down to semantics, really.

    I did originally say I was only in it for the one race, but after I qualified for Boston I knew I’d run it (Boston) to see what all the hype is about. I figured I’d get my mileage up this Fall and run Philly (again) in order to build up a base since my original intention was to take last Spring off. But, a new running partner came into the picture, my regular RP wanted to try to BQ so I said I’d run Pocono to help her. Turns out I never did run with her (she BQ’d anyway) because somewhere along the way my training became really strong and I decided to give it all I had. It’s funny how things sort of snowball when we don’t originally intend for certain things. But, I can’t say that I ever became addicted to the marathon itself. I don’t even think I’m addicted to running. I could drop it tomorrow and never look back. I think for me, the addiction is the self challenge of pushing my body. I definitely feel I could pick up a different sport tomorrow and push myself just as hard to excel. But, that’s always been how I’ve rolled.

    I suppose ‘Betcha Can’t Run Just One’ can be correlated to any distance, really, if the desire is there to improve, don’t you think?

    PS – I had a feeling you’d get a BQ this time around. Your attitude was so much different, so much more relaxed. Keep it up 🙂

    1. Jill –

      You should have been a lawyer, with all the semantics and fine print you speak of! 🙂

      Your whole 3rd paragraph proves the “Betcha Can’t Run Just One” theory. Those are all great explanations/reasons, but still. You couldn’t run just one! 🙂

      Thanks – my attitude was different this time and I do think it made a big difference!

  3. Julie

    When I signed up for TC I thought that I would do only just one. I wanted to experience what all of the other marathon runners did. I wanted to feel that something special when crossing the finish line. I needed to experience that wonderful feeling for myself! Now I want to experience that special feeling again and maybe better my time to a sub 4! Who knew?

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