If I had a DeLorean equipped with a flux capacitor, I’d rev that thang up to 88 mph, take it back to ancient Greece, and wait behind a tree for Phidippides about 10 miles outside of Athens. I’d tackle him and make sure he never completed his 26.2 mile journey. But I’d be sure to spread the story of his valiant effort and encourage everyone to run 16 miles as the gold standard race distance to commemorate his failed quest.

Sixteen miles is far enough.

Ok, that’s a little extreme, but I really don’t like the marathon. I don’t think it has fond feelings for me either. My life’s plan was to run one marathon, run it under 4 hours, and never even consider that kind of distance again (Ironman aside). I achieved the first two goals.

Inexplicably, I’ve now run 2 more marathons than I ever wanted to run.

I just don’t enjoy these races the way other people do. That’s not the marathon’s fault. I know some people really love them. To each his own, right? But as I told The Missus just a couple of hours after my most recent experience at this distance, “I think I’ve realized that rugby is my sport–and I’m 5 years past playing that one.”

I’m not a natural runner. I’m not built to be a runner. But I do enjoy running. And I really like training for marathons. But the next time I think of signing up for one I need to be reminded of the deflated feeling I had after the very first one when I realized there was nothing on the schedule for the next Tuesday.

For some reason, I have a mental deficiency that forces me to put an actual race out there to train for instead of just training for training’s sake.

I need to fix that.

The money I pay to enter one of these races would be better spent on a few months at Masters’ Swimming. Or some Sufferfest videos to watch on the bike. Or a bike tune up.

Or some chicken wings.

Never again. For real this time.