Joe, here's a little story for you. I'm a triathlete, had never run more than a half marathon. I once worked for a marathon - taking care of the volunteers at the start/finish - and decided right there that, contrary to what people were saying, the marathon was not a "participation" sport and ought to be run only by experienced, if not elite, runners. The sight of those poor souls crawling in in more than 4 hours was too much to bear... But (there's always a but) I decided one day that I should give the marathon ONE try. Registered in Quebec City and ran a miserable race. The race was fine, it's just all these mistakes I was making, and knew I was making them when I was making them, and I knew this was inexperience at work. The year after I decided to redeem myself and run this thing again - I cut 15 minutes off my time, despite terrible wind, and qualified for Boston. So, I really had to give the marathon another try (I didn't want to go to Boston, but my friends said they would wring my neck if I didn't). Ran another miserable race (read the mistake part above). If only I had had a better knowledge of the course, etc. But still I qualified for next year... and guess what : I'm going back with the knowledge that I can cut 15 minutes off this thing just by knowing a little better what I'm doing.... So Joe, take it from me: this is not going to be your only and last marathon...
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