In the spirit of the Boston Marathon tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to share 5 reasons to love the marathon distance. While I’ve only run 2 marathons, I’ve run countless 20+ milers and have a good perspective on the long distance training aspect.
While it used to be intimidating to me, now I just enjoy it for the reasons below and so many more.
1. It builds mental strength
I used to agree that the thought of 26.2 miles sounded crazy. But then I made a commitment to myself to do one. And then I did another. I hope to do several more. Each long run brought more mental clarity, self-confidence and awareness.
I was forced to be with my thoughts for hours at a time, which to be honest, if I wasn’t running, I probably would never have had that same experience.
I practiced telling myself I CAN do this, even when every part of me told me I couldn’t. During long runs, I reminded myself how hard I trained, the sacrifices I made and more.
Long distance running can be a great way to enhance your self-confidence.
2. You learn alot about yourself
My creativity sparks so much during runs. I come up with ideas that I even surprise myself with! I feel so much enthusiasm and excitement about different parts of life that I don’t necessarily have day in and day out. There’s just something about a run that really teaches me what I know about myself to be true.
I evaluate relationships, people who motivate and inspire me, and those who don’t fill up my cup. I reflect on my counseling sessions with clients, how I hope to attract more, and what I’ve learned from past clients. Thoughts pop into my head that resonate with me and I explore them.
I also can see when running is used as stress relief and self care vs something else.
Long distance running has taught me alot. I’ve written about the 26 lessons from my first marathon before, and I’ll definitely revisit that before my next one.
3. To experience a range of emotions
There were fear and doubt in the beginning on the way to the race, nerves and butterflies at the starting line, exhaustion throughout with spurts of competition and assurance, and pride and self-confidence at the end. There were feelings of, “Why did I sign up for this,” and “I’ll never do this again.”
But, those were also replaced with, “That was awesome, how exhilarating!” and “I can’t wait to do another,” and “My body is awesome and resilient.”
4. The opportunity to travel somewhere new
I love to travel. My travel has taken a backseat since before I got pregnant with Camryn, but it’s something I hope we’ll continue to do as Camryn gets older. I love picking races in new destinations as a way to see new places. I never would have explored Salt Lake City Eats or Austin, two amazing cities, if it weren’t for running.
5. It translates to other things
Remember how I said it helped build mental confidence and self-awareness? Well, by teaching myself that I could do something I trained hard for, I’ve been able to carry that mentality over to other parts of life. Like work, public speaking, program creation and even motherhood.
There are so many life lessons that can be gleaned through running, and marathons seem to help me uncover them.
Why do you love running? What about long distance running?