“The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can’t dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon.” -Fred Lebow
Last year, one of my goals was to run a marathon. At the beginning of the year, admittedly, I thought running 26.2 miles was insane. So I signed up and trained for a half marathon because I thought 13 miles was much more reasonable. I ran the Key West Half Marathon (you literally run around the island – it’s awesome!), then the Nashville Country Music Half Marathon. After finishing two halves, I guess I officially caught the running bug and felt inspired to try a full. Last November, I crossed the finish line on my first 26.2 mile race, NYC Marathon.
There were times when I thought, “what in the heck was I thinking?!” Training lasted for 6 months during the hottest part of summer in Florida. It was not easy. It involved going to bed early on Friday nights to get up even earlier for long distance runs on Saturday morning. Running on lonely hotel treadmills when I traveled wasn’t fun. A 4:00 am alarm became a routine several times a week. As painful as it was to drag myself out of the comfort of my bed, the reward was worth the effort. Starting the day seeing stars, watching the sunrise, and spending time with my running group always made my running days the best of the week. I was also fund raising to run with Fred’s Team, and was touched by the kindness, generosity and support of friends and family who helped me generate over $3500 in donations for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
I must have caught the “running bug” because I’ll be running my 2nd marathon at the end of this month … The Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.
Crossing the finish line last November, I learned something valuable about myself … I could accomplish anything if I planned and worked for it. And that lesson is a bucket list worthy goal.
So, if you want to take the word “can’t” out of your vocabulary, then I highly recommend adding a marathon to your bucket list! You don’t have to be an athlete, anyone can finish as long as they train.
For motivation, here’s 26 reasons for running 26 miles.
For inspiration, here’s an article I wrote for CheapOair recommending 5 races worth traveling for.