I spent this week editing the manuscript for Twenty-four Years to Boston, my memoir based on the marathon. It was like a journey into the past, my life from November 2000 to April 2005, a time I was doing the best running of my life. To read it now is like a dream. It doesn’t seem that long ago.
In November 2000 I had this harebrained idea to run my second marathon—twenty years after my first. I would be forty-seven, as opposed to twenty-seven. My life had changed drastically, from an unruly construction worker to a seemingly mature father of four with a relatively responsible job. Plus, my body had aged twenty years. The idea of running the second marathon twenty years after my first intrigued me.
I swore after my first marathon in 1981 that I’d never run another. I mean, my purpose for running was to stay in shape and the marathon beat my body to a pulp—it defeated the purpose. So I took and twenty-year hiatus. What do you think I said after the second marathon? Right! The same thing—I’ll never to run another—for the second time.
Fortunately, marathoners have short memories, and I have the shortest of all. I reneged on the pact I made with myself and went on to have the most prolific running years of my life as I approached my fiftieth year.
I’ll send the manuscript to my publisher this weekend and work with him on it until publication, hopefully by marathon season—September. Between now and publication, I’ll intermingle new running adventures with excerpts from the memoir, and of course, much more. I’ll continue with the series of the Art of Running and launch a new writing website. Regardless, running will always be part of what I do.
I don’t swear I won’t run marathons anymore, but I’ve gotten a little smarter. I don’t beat my body into oblivion trying to run fifty-miles a week, instead I cycle, hike, swim, trail run and chase my grandkids. And, yes, I will run another marathon this year.