A Marathon Frame of Mind: Boston Strong

Sports-Illustrated-Boston-Strong-2014-spread_1

source: wcvb.com

Just a few more days left to go, two and some to be more precise, and for a while there I was wondering if it would ever get here. Now there’s a part of me silently screaming that it’s all too much too soon, while the other part – the marathoner – is yelling to bring it on.

Only one time before have I felt anything other than excitement at a big run such as this, you may recall my first marathon – the New York City Marathon – which I ran with a sprained ankle. Back then, I had a similar feeling of trepidation, which didn’t result in any great feat accomplished except to probably make me the only person crazy enough to run 26.2 miles with pain and a hobble. Fast forward to Monday coming, seven marathons later and a 100% belief in my ability to finish.

Today’s bit of anxiety really stems from “the elephant in the room” also known as my breathing problem and now becoming popular among athletes, Exercise Induced Asthma. My acceptance of this diagnosis is cynical at best while the reality is much less so and one I must run with; and so my concern is really about my finish time. This may seem silly – here I am with a very real health issue and yet all I can think about is a goal time. Well try not to judge me too harshly. I promise you, run enough marathons and the question becomes not about finishing, which is a given, but only “in what time.” That being said, I’m by no means nonchalant about my condition, only aware of my body and its evolving boundaries, which I think I’m becoming quite good at exploring and extending bit by bit. This is my comfort and that which gives me hope going in to Boston.

I can absolutely do this. The training is done and I’m as ready as I will ever be at this point. I look forward to a phenomenal experience: the new course, amazing spectators, good weather (we can only hope), and an all-round fun time. Determidly so, I might add, because I’m mindful that I’ll be running in the footsteps of all those who have gone before me, in the spirit of all those who hope to come after and for those who can only dream.

As such, in the spirit of Boston, on this the third anniversary of fhe Boston Marathon bombings, along with the survivors and those who lost their lives on that fateful Marathon Monday in 2013, I promise to run Boston Strong.

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10 Reasons to Run a Marathon this Fall


Source: smileswithmoms.com

Source: smileswithmoms.com

You never know what life is gonna throw at you. One day you could be trading stocks on Wall Street, the next serving a humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. While that may be an extreme there exists many others; from health to sickness and every and anything in between, a person’s goals and life could change in an instant. And so we plan, our God-given right we believe, in the hopes of a million dreams coming through while ironically we have no control whatsoever over any of it.

So what does that mean for you the runner? For my part it says that while planning is necessary to maintain an illusion of order and control in our lives, it is far more important to live in the moment – making use of the days and seasons as they come and fulfilling our dreams as far as we can now. Dreams of running, loving, living, adventure, missions, service..whatever they may be, more often than not, we only get one shot at.

With that in mind, I propose a running dream come true this Fall. How about a marathon? The ultimate running experience for every person who considers him/herself a runner awaits you. ย There will never be a better time, a more perfect season or better reasons to challenge yourself. Here’s why:

  1. Fall weather rocks a marathon with near perfect running conditions and is the most scenic and awe-inspiring to runners who are closet nature lovers. Think trails, mountains, foliage etc.
  2. It’s great for destination marathoners. That would be me! I love to pick a beautiful city right off the map just because it promises a beauty of a course.
  3. This is the best time to run (for first time marathoners), complete and even record a PR as it follows Summer where you would have had ample opportunity for executing a great training plan.
  4. Generally, travel rates are lower since it’s post summer so deals are on to make it a few days vacation with a marathon added for good measure.
  5. It presents the perfect opportunity to cross off that bucket list event or new year resolution. I’m guessing a marathon was high up on there.
  6. If you’re anything like me, you love a challenge. Well maybe I’m a bit much, but hey.. how about a Fall challenge to take it to the next level. For steadfast half-marathon folks or those who enjoy still shorter runs, how about pushing those limits while increasing your mileage and building endurance and ability. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised.
  7. Lots of charity runs happening this Fall as we head to October and Cancer Awareness month. Your marathon miles can do a lot of good to so many.
  8. Training for a marathon could just be what you need to put you in tip-top shape for the upcoming holiday season and all the irresistible food and treats that will surely tempt you then. The hard work you would have put into training to get you looking so svelte will help temper your palette as you will want to stay fit and healthy.
  9. A marathon is an inspiration to so many people, those who can’t run, those who do, and others who want so much to. Why not earn bragging rights as a marathoner while inspiring others to do the same.
  10. Lastly, if you didn’t know it, Fall is unofficially marathon season with two really big marathons taking center stage, the New York City Marathon and the Chicago Marathon. You could have a place in either one of these and run the opportunity of a lifetime. Now which runner out there can say no to that?

I guess if after all that you’re not thinking in terms of 26.2 then there’s really no hope for you. Tick-tock, tick-tock, the clock’s a’ticking – to marathon or not to marathon.

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