Running 26.2 miles sounds a good laugh. This summer I have set myself a target of running a full-length marathon before 2017 is finished.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to run a full-length marathon. Perhaps the turning point for me was in April 2006 when I travelled to London to watch my Dad take part in the London Marathon. If the old man can do it, I can. As atmospheres go, the buzz of the race day was enough for me to tell myself that one day I must be a part of it again – but on the other side of the fence.
The concept of a marathon is weird when you think about it. You are voluntarily running for an extended period of time, putting your body under significant stress, for no tangible or visible outcome. Its not like you’re transporting water for a remote village desperately in need. There’s not a forest fire forcing you to escape. You just, want to.
Trying to get my head around why I actually want to complete a full marathon within the next 1-2 years here’s my thoughts:
- Sense of achievement. Marathon runners speak about that feeling once you cross that finish line. Good feels.
- Pushing myself to the limit. No better way to get out of your comfort zone. People are to happy to be comfortable. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
- Fitness goals. Your respiratory system and cardiovascular fitness will exponentially benefit from the intense training. Improvement and progression is the key, but that applies to every aspect of life.
- Execution of a plan. Coming good on a long-term vision, and a training program shows you have that mental strength. Following through on what you have envisioned is a rewarding feeling.
- Philanthropy. If, like me, you have certain causes or charities that have helped you, or you feel strongly about then it is a good way to give back. If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.
It’s now in writing, no going back from this commitment. Already the prospect excites me greatly as I envision that feeling of running through the finish line. Or crawling.
I have a taste of what is to come – on 10 April I ran the Yorkshire Half-Marathon in my first test of endurance. The day was unbelievable, an undulating 13.1 miles through Sheffield and the peak district hills was tough. A crisp, clear spring morning, the raceday buzz was something I shall not forget. It still amazes me how many people flock to support the runners, offering all kinds of refreshments. Big thanks to that red-headed Yorkshire woman with the Jelly-Babies as I reached the peaks.
I came away from that experience wanting more (maybe not immediately, despite the leaflet I received for another half marathon as I crossed the finish line). Hence, my sights are set on next year for running a marathon. It won’t be London as that ship has sailed, so I will look elsewhere, who knows, maybe even abroad.