I laced up my tennis shoes and hit the pavement. It was 6am on a Saturday and the world was dark and quiet. I was about to spend the first three and a half hours of my day running. I was deeply regretting my decision to sign up for a full marathon, and cursing my stubbornness for not quitting. It was so hard.
There were about a hundred moments in the fall of 2012 when I questioned whether it was a good decision to run a full marathon. If my friends Allison and Christen weren’t doing it with me, then I know I would have thrown in the towel after mile 15. But it’s amazing what the approval of others can make you do!
While there were many moments that I doubted and questioned whether it was a good decision to sign up, I am so thankful that I at least decided to finish.
I learned so much about myself through training and running the full marathon. Mainly: I can do hard things! Every time you reach a mile you have never been to before — whether that’s mile 3 or 26 — there is an amazing sense of accomplishment and awe at what your body can do. And since then whenever hard things come up, I just look back on that marathon and say, See? You didn’t think you could do it, but you did. You can do this next hard thing.
So will I run another one? Absolutely no, NEVER AGAIN. Ain’t no body got time for that! While I am glad that I completed it, I also learned that half marathons are my max. Maybe 10ks. I don’t love running for that long, and the training is hard, the mental energy is outrageously intense, and the strain on my body isn’t worth it for me. I feel just as good after an hour of running as I do after three hours. I did a full marathon once (something I never thought I would ever say), and that’s good enough.
PS – Shoes are (muddy) Brooks from a running store in Raleigh.