Why We Keep Signing Up for Marathons
This is for you, those who can’t stop yourselves from signing up yet another marathon. You know who you are.
When running the previous marathon, we told ourselves we need a break from running a marathon. We were in so much pain and we didn’t think we can run another marathon. 42.195km is not an easy distance to conquer.
Time flies. Soon, registration for another marathon opens. We spend a lot of time contemplating, should I join, should I not? Then we say, “Heck. I’m going to do this again.” Our impatient fingers key in the credit card numbers and we receive the confirmation email in less than 30 minutes.
Then we ask ourselves, “Why did I sign up for another marathon?”
In case we forget why we keep running a marathon. Here are some reminders.
1. We want to be stronger than ever.
We want to beat our personal best so bad. We know we have it inside us. We have shaved off not only minutes but hours from our first marathon timing. We can do it again.
We know very well that we can do whatever things we set our mind to. It’s just a matter of time.
2. We miss the feeling of crossing the finish line.
That moment of crossing the finish line is worth every drop of sweats and tears, every aching muscle, and every single second we spent on training and racing.
When we cross that finish line, all those pain, ache, fatigue, thirst and hunger just fade away. We will feel like we have won the hardest battle in our lives. We will discover the strength that we never knew we had. Our lives begin anew every time we cross that line.
3. There’s no better time to do it than now.
We are not the type of people who will wait for everything to be perfect before signing up for a marathon. We have our own deadlines. For some people, that deadline is to run a sub-4 marathon before turning 30 years old. We will do all we can to meet our deadlines.
“The most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” - Randy Komisar.
4. We know that pain is temporary but pride is forever.
We can afford to lose a black toenail or ten. We don’t mind being incapable of climbing up and down the staircase right after a marathon. We are strong enough to handle the pain that comes at around 35km in a marathon. For us, running a marathon is less painful than not running.
One month after the marathon, we will forget whatever pain we felt during the race. But we won’t forget the sense of pride that came from completing a marathon. And for the rest of our lives, we will remember exactly how many marathons we have completed, and how our lives have changed because of the marathons.
Boxing's most celebrated athlete Muhammad Ali said,
“Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
5. We hope to qualify for Boston Marathon. Someday.
Not everyone can join Boston Marathon. One needs to be the fastest of the fast runners to earn a slot in Boston Marathon. For that reason, one of our lifelong dreams is to qualify for Boston and to race in the world’s most prestigious marathon.
Sometimes we have nightmares about not being able to qualify for Boston in our lifetime and it scares the hell out of us.
In a world full of naysayers, there are people who will say we are crazy for paying money just to run, for joining the same race year after year, for torturing ourselves by going through the horrible and body-wrecking torment called marathon.
But we will always rise up from negativity and stand firm on our principle. We believe in the numerous positive benefits that marathon brings.
Thus, we will keep signing up for marathons. Many times, over and over again because we are marathoners!