My hate/hate relationship with running began in High School when I realized that I was never going to be fast and that my playlists would never be good enough to make me fast. At first, I tried my best putting on a brave face while being lapped by six-year olds and paraplegics. Then I hung up my running shoes for good, and began getting my daily intake of endorphins from thinking about exercising and actually eating cupcakes. After all, running is supremely boring. The only thing more boring than running a mile is running two miles, which gets me to perhaps the most dull pursuit of all: running a half marathon.
Running a full marathon shows the world “I can push my body to the limits of my species’ capabilities.” A half marathon says “Well, I’m halfway towards doing something impressive.” Have you ever gotten a “half haircut”? Do surgeons perform “half heart transplants”? I think not. If you’re doing half of something then you’re not really doing anything.13 miles is just so arbitrary. Why not 12 or 11? Wait, why not avoid running at all, and instead use that valuable time to do well, practically anything else? It takes about two hours to run a half marathon, which coincidentally is how long it took Einstein to finalize E = MC2. Imagine if he had used those two hours to run around and liveblog his progress on Facebook. You make the judgement call.
It would be one thing if people ran half marathons quietly, perhaps in some sort of half marathon ashram in Cambodia. Instead, there are the Facebook statuses, the Instagrams, the Snapchats, the email blasts. We get it, you can run half as well as someone who is actually a runner. You’re in shape, I’m not, pass me another cupcake.