Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lady Marathon: A Fractured Fairytale

Once upon a time, Lady Marathon entered an epic fairytale of her own making when she decided to train for a marathon to raise money for the deserving, rookie scribes of Grubdom. An unlikely heroine, Lady Marathon set off on her merry way armed with little more than the optimism of her girlish heart and a belief that miles could be bested by an obsessive focus on her magical playlist.

And while these tools served her well for the first nine weeks of her four-month Odyssey, when yesterday's training schedule called for a run that stacked sixteen long and arduous miles end to end, the weariness in Lady Marathon's legs was so intense, her running slowed to a speed on pace with that of a shuffling troll. But it wasn't just her legs that turned trolloh no. Somewhere around mile 14 that troll made its scrabbling way to her brain where it started to whisper ferociously:
Once upon a time my fairy tale ass, it began...
And just like that, the false romance of the fairytale runner's world melted away, and Lady Marathon felt, with every aching muscle in her taxed and tired body, like a wayward heroine in one of the scarier tales from the Brothers Grimm.

Or, in words less tainted by her complete love affair with John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things (readitreaditreadit), the 16 miles she ran yesterday flattened her. And to put it still another way: holy mother of ouch!

We've reached the point in our fairytale of a run where the bucolic gives way to the beastly: Next week her long run may hold steady at 16 miles, but her short and medium runs will all inch up with the tenacious force of the branch army that took down Macbeth.

And so Lady Marathon sends out a plea to all the members of Grubdom (and all the people who love those who cherish Grubdom): If you've been meaning to pledge to the Run for Grub, now would be a most excellent time to do so. With only $437.50 to go until we reach our goal, Lady Marathon knows that crossing the fundraising finish line early won't actually make the pounding miles hurt any less, but she's pretty sure it will make for one hell of a happily ever afterplus her little girl heart hopes it'll inspire a humdinger of a second wind, too.

Catherine Elcik is running her first marathon to raise money for a scholarship fund for Grub Street, Inc, an independent writing center in Boston, MA. Sponsor the run (and quite frankly, her second wind) at