The most common question I get asked is, why do I choose to run marathons?
When I wanted to run my first marathon, the why behind my goal was that, I wanted to set myself a big challenge to prove that I was something beyond what I already was.
When I completed my first marathon, the finish was an anticlimax, I didn’t get that feeling I was expecting to arrive. So I was already planning the next one to get the same buzz. It took me a couple of marathons to, realise that the finish line isn’t what it’s all about.
Completing the marathon is an achievement, but it took me a long time to realise that I am the same person I was before I started, there is no superman suit at the finish line, it doesn’t make me anything more than what I am already, it’s just reinforced what I already was, and that is enough.
If you look for something beyond yourself you’ll always be dissatisfied as your not appreciating what you have, and who you are at that moment.
So my why behind my running has changed. Other people and ourselves can put so many limitations on what we are and what we could be, that it constricts you as a person. But self belief requires daily nurture, like other things. You can’t train a muscle once and expect it to stay strong for life. I use the marathon in the same fashion. I use it as a challenge to remind myself to not place unnecessary limitations on who I am.
Hi Marcus, really like your post. How do you/have you ever had to cope with self doubt about your running? I’m struggling with this especially before I get out the front door, usually ok once I’m running. Nic
Hi Nic, thank you. If I said I was looking forward to every early morning run or long weekend run I’d be a liar. My first London marathon I didn’t do enough training and I was struggling from about mile 15. Those last 11.2 miles were awful, and I swore I’d never under prepare again.
I had a injury last September and I didn’t start running until January. It took a long time to build stamina again, and there runs, when I had to stop etc. I’d be asking myself where has my fitness gone and I’d question my ability, for a few moments. But no matter how bad I felt at the time, I celebrated finishing each run. I know that each run completed is more miles in the bank, and it makes me stronger for the next run.
The pain of under preparing I feel is much worse than the pain I feel regaining fitness. That’s what I think about when I’m struggling during a training run. I hope that helps?
Thanks it definitely does. I think I need to focus on the positive aspects of each run even if it doesn’t quite go to plan. Have 14 miles planned for this Sunday so fingers crossed I’ll make the distance this time!