A lot of runners think that the natural progression in running is a marathon.
Listen, I’ve done 9 of them and while I am not a natural runner; neither fast, lithe or graceful, I can do the distance. And while I may be proud of my 4:29 PR back in 2007 at the NY Marathon, I am under no delusion that this is considered a good time by the general running community.
But the marathon is important to me. It makes me happy when I have one on the horizon. I enjoy the 4 months of training, the long runs on a Saturday or Sunday morning. I love having my training days plotted out and while it takes time and planning and some sacrifice to get those runs under my belt, I do it because I know from experience that coming to the starting line unprepared is bad. It may not be bad at first, but in about 10 miles it will suck like nothing has ever sucked before.
I’ve spoken to a lot of people who tell me they can’t imagine ever doing a marathon. And that’s fine. You don’t have to. Ever. You can and should feel perfectly ok with a half marathon or shorter distances. Or even. Gasp. Not racing at all.
Running races does not make you a runner. It does, in my oh-so-humble opinion, help get you out the door when you’d rather sneak in some extra zz’s or provide structure to an unstructured training plan. But racing is not everyone’s cup of tea. I have a friend who didn’t do any races but would go out and run a marathon distance for fun every month or so. Now that’s crazy 🙂
But if you do want to race or are interested in running a marathon in 2017 please let me know. My 10th (and maybe final) marathon is scheduled for then. There’s always room for another runner on our team.
Now go run!