Mistakes Were Made | David Willey

July 15, 2014 2:36 PM

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Mistakes Were Made | David Willey

Why do I do this again? That question came to me as I started walking for the third time in the final miles of the Marine Corps Marathon in October. It wasn't rhetorical. I wasn't being sly. I really meant it. Every muscle group in my lower body was either locking up or in serious pain (or both). It was mathematically impossible for me to hit the 3:24 I'd been training to run for four months. A 3:24 would qualify me for Boston, a goal I've been chasing for a decade. That also happens to be my PR, which I'd set nearly seven years earlier. To run a new PR at age 46, well, I knew everything would need to be close to perfect. As Tolstoy warned, "If you look for perfection, you'll never be content."

Feeling miserable and more than a little sorry for myself, I truly wondered why I didn't quit marathons for good and stick with half-marathons. I seemed to be fine with those. In fact, I'd hit the halfway mark in 1:43, exactly as planned. I had just run the "Blue Mile," lined with American flags and...

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