Minutes after a friend and I finished our first marathon, he said something to me that I will never forget and sometimes think about. He said “at least we ran this without having to!” I did not understand what he meant so I asked him to explain. He said that some people who decide to run a marathon do so because they get diagnosed with a terminal disease or because someone close to them just passed away. He was basically saying that some people run their first marathon after they get a “wake-up call” of how short life really is.
So, this beckons the question “why did you decide to run your first marathon?” Did you get a “wake up call”, go through a divorce, get convinced by a friend to do it with him or her, have a big life change, or did you just want to “check it off your list”?
What got me to the start line was a revelation that just hit me one day. I had just completed a Masters Degree of Education in Canada ahead of schedule. Because of the freedom I had at that time in my life, I decided to do a six month stint in Kyoto, Japan to teach at a High School and University before returning back to my regular teaching job in Canada.
A good friend and I went to Japan together because he had also completed the same Masters Degree and he had past experience with living and working in Japan. So, after about a month in Kyoto, I felt I needed to run marathon. “Why not,” I thought. Up to this point I had run two miles three times a week, so the next obvious step was to run a 26.2 mile race. I convinced my friend to do it as well, so we both signed up for the Osaka marathon which was 4 months away. We also signed up for the Takatsuki half marathon because we had heard it was good to run one half ways through the training as marathon preparation.
To make a long story short, we downloaded a marathon training program from the internet and away we went. Because of our busy schedules we rarely trained together for the next 4 months but we finished both the half marathon and marathon together achieving very respectable times. The years following I went on to run twelve more marathons (before knee surgery) and my friend never ran another one.
So that’s my story, what’s yours? Tell us why you decided to run a marathon!