Meb Keflezighi & Scott Douglas
When Meb Keflezighi — the first person in history to win both the Boston and New York City marathons as well as an Olympic marathon medal — ran his final marathon in New York City on November 5, 2017, it marked the end of an extraordinary distance-running career. Meb's last marathon was also his 26th, and each of those marathons has come with its own unique challenges, rewards, and outcomes. In 26 Marathons, Meb takes readers on those legendary races, along every hill, bend, and unexpected turn of events that made each marathon an exceptional learning experience, and a fascinating story. 26 Marathons offers the wisdom Meb has gleaned about life, family, identity, and faith in addition to tips about running, training, and nutrition. He shows runners of all levels how to apply the lessons he's learned to their own running and lives. Equal parts inspiration and practical advice, 26 Marathons provides an inside look at the life and success of one of the greatest runners living today. (From Rodale Books)
From the book
Marathoners always need to be grounded in reality.
"I don't want to do this ever again."
That's part of the entry from my running log for November 3, 2002, the day I ran my first marathon. The race was an inauspicious start to my marathon career. I knew that a lot of people say "Never again!" after marathons, but I was sincere. Running the last 10K at my easy run pace, despite great preparation and mental fortitude, was just utterly unsatisfying. I felt defeated by the distance.
Obviously, I didn't end up in the one-and-done club. Still, at one point in each of my twenty-six marathons as a pro I asked myself, "Why am I doing this?" (Yes, even when I won Boston.) I eventually learned that it's always going to hurt, but most of the time you can come out of that absolute pit. When you're conditioned properly and your body and mind are on the same page, it's a beautiful thing. Eventually I learned that the marathon can be the most satisfying event in running. It can even be fun.
I didn't have that experience the first time. When I hit the Wall after 20 miles, it was hard to override all of my negative thoughts. I like to say I got my PhD in marathoning that day. The theme of my dissertation: You need to base what you do on race day in reality, not fantasy.
From 26 Marathons by Meb Keflezighi & Scott Douglas ©2019. Published by Rodale Books.