December 14th, 5 am in Honululu, I will be running my first and last marathon. It’s a bucket list item for me that I’m looking forward to checking off.
Years ago during college my best friend and I volunteered at the Chicago marathon and saw people way older than us running and we were so inspired. So this has been a goal of ours for years and now is the perfect time for us to complete it.
I know that some people love running marathons, and do them every year, but not me. I just want to be able to do it once, that’s really enough for me. I don’t need to have a record fast time. I just want to be able to cross the finish line in one piece.
26.2 miles. It’s totally crazy right? I know. I agree with you.
So then why am I doing it?
1) Because I’ll never be younger than I am now. The older I am the harder it will on my body.
2) I don’t own a house and pay a mortgage right now, I don’t have any kids yet, so I have free time that I need to dedicate to the training schedule.
(Not to say that people who do have those things can’t and don’t do marathons! They obviously do. I just know that it takes a lot of time and at this point in my life, I have that time to give without feeling guilty.)
3) I want to push my limits and prove to myself that I can do it.
4) It is incredibly rewarding and empowering to set a goal and achieve it.
Before I started training for both my half and full marathon, I never ran more than 3 miles at a time. Each time I run a distance more than that, it’s my first time. Never did I think I could and would run 13.1 miles, but I did and you can too (if you want to!) If I weren’t training for a marathon I would never run that much. You can really teach your body and mind endurance, setting a pace, and going the distance.
5) It’s a great way to get in shape, be healthy, and increase your endurance.
6) It’s a great opportunity to bring attention to important causes and donate money to charities. It’s also a great motivator to run for someone or something important.
I read Adam Braun’s book, The Promise of a Pencil, which is about the incredible non profit he started that raises money to educate children around the world by building schools, providing scholarships, training teachers and so much more. I knew right away I wanted to raise money and help in any way I could. I am almost half way to my goal of $250 with 5 weeks left to go.
Here is my fundraising page if you feel so inclined to donate. I would really appreciate it and so will the kids, parents and teachers.
7) Not that you need a reason to go to Hawaii, but this is great excuse. I will really be looking forward to having a vacation after I finish! But before then, it will be a great way to explore and really see Oahu and it’s coast. And I’ll at least have beautiful scenery to keep me distracted while I’m counting down the miles.
8) Bragging rights! No matter how long it takes me, even if I get cramps, even if I have a bad mile or five, I will (hopefully) cross that finish line and become a part of the marathon runners club.
9) That shiny medal. I have my half medal marathon and it’s one of my most prized possessions. I display it proudly at our place and its a fun talking point. I paid for, trained for, and worked hard for that thing. I didn’t grow up with lots of trophies so it was a big deal and accomplishment for me to have a shiny medal of my own that I earned. Can’t wait to add to my collection!
10) I really enjoy the encouraging environment that surrounds races. I love the clever signs people have and the amazing, warm words of motivation that get shouted at the runners. Running marathons can be very taxing both emotionally and physically so when runners hear things like, “Keep going! You’re doing great! Almost there!” it means a lot and really can help them get through.
The other day when I was running on the beach path and there were inspirational phrases along the way and just reading those I almost started tearing up! So I’m pretty sure come December and I’m out on the course and I hear some kind words of encouragement you might see a tear or two escaping from my eyes.
So there you have it. The reasons behind my madness. I still have a month of training left to go before the big day. But it’s quickly approaching and come race day, I’ll be ready!
I would absolutely LOVE any words of advice you could give me. I know I’m not the first person to run a marathon and I won’t be the last, so please feel free to share your hard earned knowledge with me.
Come back this Thursday as I continue my Interview Series and interview my cousin who has run 10 marathons! (Yes you read that right, 10!) He’s been my coach and inspiration as I’m navigating the crazy world of training and running.