Most people think running a marathon is about, well, running.
But those who have ran a marathon, know it has very little to do with the actual running. Let me tell you what running a marathon is really about. To date, I have ran 15 half marathons and 4 full marathons (along with countless other 5Ks, 10Ks, etc) in just a little over two years. Absolutely crazy, you say? Yes, pretty much.
Most people ask me why I do it. Some people think I "like" running. Um, I can't say I have ever finished any run (whether it was 2 miles or 22 miles) and said "That was fun!" Runs are hard, painful and mentally exhausting. My lungs hurt, my feet hurt, my legs hurt, I dream of giant glasses of ice water and a floor to lay on and I play insane mind games to keep myself from stopping. So, why do I keep running races that force me to do heinous 20 mile training runs, or get up at 4am on a Saturday to beat the heat, or make me total sick to my stomach with stress? Because it makes me a better person.
Running has taught me so much about who I am and what I am capable of. I NEVER thought I could run a half marathon (done). Then I NEVER thought I could run a half marathon under 2 hours (done). Then I NEVER thought I could run a full marathon (done). Then I NEVER thought I could run a full marathon under 4:30 (done). My point is, I keep pushing myself past what I ever thought was possible, and keep proving to myself, IT IS POSSIBLE - I just have to put in the work, believe in myself and make it happen! And guess what... this principle applies to more than just running! Work, relationships, etc.
Here is what running a marathon is really about to me:
- It tests your limits and proves you are capable of so much more than you ever thought.
- It builds confidence in all aspects of your life. ("I just did something I NEVER thought I could do! I am amazing! I can do anything!")
- It's therapeutic. I mean really, how often do you have 4 hours and 19 minutes (the time it took me to complete my marathon today) to be alone with your thoughts? Time to reflect on everything going on in your life and essentially sort it all out in your head. I often find clarity and solutions on my runs that I probably wouldn't otherwise find.
- It's a total mood booster. Ever heard of runner's high? It's a real thing, trust me. Couple that with clarity you might find on a run plus increased confidence and it's a recipe for a happy day!
- It's an opportunity to inspire someone. When you do something you never thought you could do, it could inspire someone else to do something they thought they couldn't do. Which to me, inspiring someone to do something great is one of the best feelings.
Running a marathon is really a very rewarding experience in ways that don't have anything to do with running itself. Push your limits in all aspects of life, because I promise you will surprise yourself.