Coming from a very active background with a mother who once ran over 100 miles during a 24-hour race, a marathon was never really a “bucket list” item for me. I knew one day I would run a marathon but it never seemed like a big deal. In fact, I still forget that it is completely insane to willingly decide (and pay) to run for 4 hours on end.
But after paying a $100 entry fee, giving up the better part of my Saturdays to train, and learning every single hill in the Atlanta area, I completed my first marathon! Even though I was mentally and physically prepared to run 26.2 miles, running a marathon is basically a right of passage in my family, so I never expected the overwhelming sense of accomplishment I experienced post-race.
Since I began training and especially since I’ve finished, I’ve had so many people ask me, “How do you do it?! How can you run for 4 hours and not stop?” or more often, “I could never do that.”
The one lesson I learned from my marathon training that has honestly helped me prosper in my career and in my life is the simple concept of dedication. When I decided to run a marathon, that was it – there was no turning back. I had made the decision. When I decided I needed to run 15 miles on Saturday so I’d be on track for my race, I went out and did it without making any excuses. Or when I decided that I had to wake up at 5am to get a run in because my schedule that day didn’t allow it anywhere else, I did it.
I talk about dedication a lot on this blog especially with regards to living a healthy lifestyle. It is so easy to make excuses in today’s world with all of the distractions around us. We are all too busy, there will always be sweets around the office, and there will always be people tempting you with something more fun or more delicious. Just like my marathon, choosing the vegetables over the fries or going for a walk instead of watching another episode of your favorite TV show is a decision. And once the decision is made, that’s it!
So yes, I believe that anyone can run a marathon. All it takes is the decision to do it and the commitment that you won’t waiver from yourself.
Speaking of my family being total bad ass runners, check out my cousin’s blog here. He is training for his first 100-mile race and has some amazing stories about his life as a runner.