Hilary's Steamtown Marathon blog
Saturday, June 19, 2004
Tomorrow will be my last long run in pre-training, and then I'll start the Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer 16-week program. I've been posting once a week, but now that I'm moving into high gear, more frequently feels right. I've read NRMT all the way through a number of times, but I'm going to go through methodically one chapter a week as I prepare for that week's training. So I read the introduction this week & it led me to think about why I want to run a marathon.
I've never been athletic; last-picked all through school, etc. I don't stand a chance of ever excelling at any physical activity. The beauty of the marathon is that just finishing is an achievement--and one that most anyone recognizes as such. I mean, it was an achievement for me to finish my first 5K, but in the grand scheme of things that's not a big deal. But running a marathon is. Sure, it's something just about anyone could do, but few people actually attempt it. Lots of fit people could hop out of bed and run 3.1 miles without any preparation, but not 26.2.
When I looked at the Forest City News article on Steamtown and saw the long list of names, I realized that each of those people had done something amazing. And that's what started me running on a small scale, 4 1/2 years ago, even though at that time the marathon was not a realistic goal for me. So: an achievement. A physical achievement. A peak experience, which in my philosophy of life are to be sought out whenever possible.
And what really sold me on NRMT when I flipped through it at Barnes & Noble was the focus on the psychological benefits. All the regular people who took Whitsett & Dolgener's class (NRMT is based on a 3-credit "marathon class" taught at University of Northern Iowa) said preparing for and running the marathon changed their lives. They talked about feeling, believing that they could do anything now. I want that!
Running a marathon is a peak experience available to anyone that will take you to what you thought were your personal limits and beyond. It is easily accessible, relatively inexpensive, and is the single most physically and mentally challenging activity (equal only to childbirth) I have ever experienced.
Granted, running a marathon is certainly not the only way to exercise control over your life. But it is one way. And it could be your way. We will lead you through it, and if you follow our instructions, you will finish. And it will change your life. That's a promise.
And here's what Hollie, author of my favorite running blog, said:
i want to turn 29 a few days after the race in october, having the pages of this story written, and feel like i made something of my 28th year-- i got off my ass and did something so remarkable, difficult, and inspiring that i can carry it with me as long as i'm alive to remember it.
Change 29 to 40, and yeah, that's it in a nutshell. And she did it, and it felt just as amazing as she hoped.
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