Running a marathon was the biggest challenge I have taken in my life. And I sincerely believe that it is something everybody should try at least once.
What makes the marathon amazing is that you don’t need to be a good runner or an athlete to do it. It is a game of determination.
I was always in good shape, but could never run. Then, when my husband decided to run a marathon, I thought he’d gone crazy. Of course, he’s been a runner so the initial part of the training was easy for him. But as he started ramping up his mileage, it got very challenging. Doing my bit as the supportive spouse, I started accompanying him on some of his long runs – and ended up running a couple miles myself. When my husband finished his marathon, I was so proud of him and so inspired that I decided I had to try this once.
From there it was baby steps. I first signed up for a half marathon and trained for it for about 4 months. I started by running half a mile the first day(which seemed to take forever), and slowly bit steadily increased my distances. I experienced a new thrill each time I crossed a new mileage point and raised the bar for my next long run.
Running the half race was hard itself, but when I saw the full marathoners running next to me, I felt small and insignificant.
In December 2005, I finally ran a full marathon. It is one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life, and took as much mental strength as physical strength.
I’m not even a runner – hence my focus was always on participating and finishing. Which I did!!:-).
The most amazing part about the marathon is the training – it takes a lot of discipline and dedication. During my training, my social life was non-existent, evenings were always reserved for training, and weekends for the long runs – one day to run the 3-4 hours and the next to nurse aching muscles!!
But while running, I have experienced such peace, content and strength – it does not compare to anything I’ve ever felt. My runs gave me the time to be with myself, relax(yes!!), and clear my thoughts.
Also, having finished the marathon has instilled a new confidence in me – other challenges now don’t seem so hard. Its a complete change in perspective. I strongly recommend running the marathon, and would especially like to help those who think they cannot – I was one of you, and I know it can be done.