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October 19, 2012

Running a Marathon: the Courage to Start

"Why would you do that?" It's the number one question I get asked about why I would willingly run 26.2 miles. And one I used to ask before I started running two years ago. Why would anyone run that far? That long? Oh sure, it’s pretty cool to get the sticker for the car window and the race t-shirt, but clearly it takes more than that!

 

 

26.2 shirt
My new cute running shirt hanging on my closet door until I've "earned" it!

 

 

I think the answer must be different for everyone who chooses to challenge themselves in this way, but I firmly believe that anyone who achieves this only does so when they are crystal clear on their reason. Here's mine: my whole life, I did not believe I was athletic. I did not think I had what it took to be an athlete. It was not in me. Then I did the Couch to 5k program, and discovered that not only could I run a 5k, but also that I love this running thing. So I wondered, could I do 10k? It turns out that I could. By then running was a part of my life. So, I set my sights on a half marathon. And with each goal I got a little better, a little stronger.

 

Even as I trained for that first 5k, I began to understand the kind of dedication, perseverance and sacrifice required to train for a marathon. It's so much more than being physically able, and I admired that tremendously. But, was it in me? Last summer, I decided to find out and committed to run the Rock ‘n Roll St. Louis Marathon on October 21, 2012. Even before Sunday, I know the answer: Yes, it is. It is in me.

 

John Bingham quote

 

I'm going into this weekend with a bit of an injury. I strained my hip flexor, which meant taking the last week and a half completely off from running, along with receiving physical therapy. My body is not at 100%, but my mind and heart are. So injured or not, I’m going for it. I have to be realistic, though, and simply hope to finish this race. I am staying positive about my ability to complete this, but if I have to bail, it's OK. I will get it next time because I know my answer.

 

Why would I run a marathon? Because I found the athlete I didn't know I was. And that feels simply amazing.

 

Enjoy your weekend!

Jens signature black

Comments

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 Hilda

Good luck Jenn! I really admire you and anyone else who runs a marathon. I'm thinking of doing a couch to 5K next spring (too cold to run here in the winter!). My inner athlete has been squelched my whole life too...and she wants out :) I look forward to hearing how it went!

Jennifer Henson

Good luck! You will do great! :) I've done two full and three half, in the midst of training for another half in November. I send you positive vibes and lots of strength!

Juli

Boy! I loved seeing this. I'm close to pulling the trigger and registering for my first full marathon. I've done two halfs, but my last one was Feb. 2011. I wish you good luck and happy hip flexors!

Susan DR

Good luck! You are a winner in my book just for trying, even if you don't finish. I love your attitude and commitment - it's inspiring!

SuzieQ

Best of luck Jen and know you did great no matter what!

Jennifer P.

Good luck on your marathon!!!!! I went to a party for a friend who just ran her first marathon about two weeks ago. It was a dairy themed party as she gave up dairy during her training. It was so fun to hear all her stories. What a huge accomplishment! I hope that your body stays strong and if not that's is ok because there is always another race to try again. ;)

Ottawa Self Storage Specialist

That's a pretty cool milestone shirt (if that's what it's called!). Kudos to you for pushing yourself to defy your limits! Anyone can run, but not everybody has the guts to finish a full marathon, right? With proper training and a positive attitude, you can very well picture yourself sweating that shirt and crossing the finish line!

Jennifer McClure

Thank you, everyone! Hilda, release your inner athlete! Good luck with your next half, Jennifer H. Pull that trigger, Juli. I believe in you!

Jose Ohara

good luck for you I've done two finish and three 50 %, in the center of training for another 50 % in Nov. I provide you excellent emotions and many strength!
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