For anyone that has braved a marathon, I’m sure you relate to the constant battle that is your internal conversation. Sometimes you think you’re going crazy and other times you think you are on top of the world. But once you cross that finish line, every mile leading up to those 26.2 is worth every black toenail you lost.
1. Because this is what it feels like to conquer the world.
For a moment in time, whether it is a moment that lasts for two hours or six hours, no one can bring you down.
2. Because beer will taste extra delicious afterwards.
You may not even be a beer drinker, but after those 26.2 miles, you will want one. You will seek it out. You will drink it and you will rejoice. (And chances are, somebody else will pay for it.)
3. You will meet some of the strongest and inspirational people on this earth.
That grandmother running for her sick grandson. That double amputee that put in a few miles with you. That ordinary girl, putting in miles in between her two jobs and full school course load. That blogger trying to get the word out that we can all do this. They will all inspire you.
4. You will build up your endurance.
During your training for a marathon and after, you will be surprised by your endurance. Training makes you do things you have never done before. Never did you think you could run 10 miles on the treadmill or walk on the Stairmaster for an hour. But you will find your limits, and you will pass them with ease.
5. As cliché as it may sound, you will find yourself.
You will find yourself and you will want to scream it off of the top of the highest mountains. Do it. Scream. You will find strength and ambition that you never knew existed and I tell you, do not let that go. Use it in every other aspect of your life.
6. You will be in the best shape of your life.
Training for a marathon will undoubtedly introduce you to other fitness outlets like yoga, spin or CrossFit. It will hopefully inspire you to eat healthy and make positive changes to your diet.
7. You will go for the gold in every other aspect of your life.
Remember that time you ran a marathon? This is nothing. You got this.
8. You will realize you can do anything.
Anything. And you will want to do anything and everything, too. You want to do an Iron-Man or run those 100 miles? What about that movie you wanted to audition for or that book you wanted to write? Or that girl you wanted to ask out but you were too scared? Go for it. What do you really have to lose but a moment in time?
9. You will branch out and try new things.
You will start to do things you have never done before. Maybe yoga was a foreign thing to you but your body needed the stretch. Maybe you have a phobia of working out with others but you know a running group will really help you log those miles. You will step out of your comfort zone and it will be worth it.
10. You will treat your body like a temple.
In trying to avoid injury, you’ll slowly begin to treat your entire body better. Training for and running a marathon is holistic. You will begin to seek out the best food you can. It will be like your mother is in town visiting and you only want to show her the best things for the next 6 months.
11. You just may inspire your friends, family and perfect strangers to log their own miles.
That friend that always made fun of you for being so weird about your running just may reach out to you to help them train for their first 5k. Your blog could inspire hundreds of people and you may never know it. Your drive could change someone else’s life and yours at the same time.
12. You will learn what it feels like to not give up.
There are moments when you are training for and running a marathon that you want to quit. In fact, you planned exactly how it would go if you did. You would collapse on the road, sink to your knees, and give up nobly, tears streaming down your face. But you didn’t. And instead, you’ll begin to compare every other life experience to that time you ran for hours on end just for fun, so why would you give up now?
13. You will gain self-confidence.
You will know you are a boss. No questions asked.
14. You may make some major life changes.
In realizing their dreams of 26.2 miles, lots of marathoners find the drive to quit that job they hate, get out of unhealthy relationships, move to that city they’ve always wanted to live in, and go for their dreams. Do it all. You can do anything, so why not do it now?
15. You will have a hunger to do better, either in your next marathon or other aspects of life.
You will tell yourself you will never run a marathon again. You will. You will strive to beat your time. You will train harder than last time and if it doesn’t pay off, you will keep trying until you get there. You will learn what it’s like to try to improve upon yourself.
16. You could lose some pounds or tone up.
You may have to buy new jeans here and there, but you will be happy with the changes and with the dedication and hard work it took to get there.
17. You will be in awe of the people supporting you.
You will never know the power of a person cheering you on quite like they do in a marathon. In your weakest moments, a complete stranger will catch you running around that corner with your head down and defeat in your eyes and they will lift your spirits right when you want to quit.
18. You will belong to a small, proud group of people.
You will be hard-pressed to find another person in the same room as you that has run a marathon. Teach then about it, share your experiences, be proud of the accomplishment whether you came in first or last, and feel a bond with any other marathoner you ever meet for the rest of your life.
19. You will become completely obsessed with whatever artist was playing when you crossed that finish line.
You may never again speak poorly about Kanye West, but just to be on the safe side, it’ll take about 4 “BEYONCE”s to get you to the finish line.
20. That runner’s high never goes away.
Ever. You will always be on cloud nine about those 26.2 miles.
21. You can crush all the reasons “they” say to never run a marathon.
They will call you crazy. They will tell you not to do it. They will tell you that the human body was not made to withstand running 26.2 miles. Few things feel as satisfying as proving “them” wrong.
22. You can raise money for charity and give back to your community.
The only thing that feels better than running a marathon for you, is when you’re running a marathon for someone else.
23. You can toss that gym membership, hit the pavement and save some bucks.
If it is marathon season and all you want to do is log miles, save yourself the money and cancel your gym membership for a few months. Training on the treadmill will not help prepare you for the impact of pavement. Trust me, I’ve done it.
24. That medal on your wall will be a constant reminder of how badass you are.
You will wear that medal in the privacy of your own home for absolutely no reason other than to celebrate that you earned it. You would walk around every day with that medal on if you could—but that would be taking gloating to the next level.
25. You may get to travel to another city, or even another continent.
Running a marathon in another country could be a great reason to travel. Kill two birds with one stone, and explore a new place from a completely unique vantage point that few will ever see.
26. Because it is a celebration of life.
Whether it is with a beer, a gathering of friends, a quiet moment to yourself, or those cupcakes you’ve been craving. You will celebrate.
26.2… And you will celebrate hard.
Sure, you may not be able to walk or sit down properly for a few days, but the long-term effects will last forever. You will never regret running that marathon.