Alright runners, we need to talk. Are you sitting down? Ok, it's 100% AOK if you have zero interest in running a marathon. I have this interaction with other runners every single week–
Other Runner: "I'm not a real runner though. I could never run a marathon."
Me: “If you're not a real runner, what are you?”
Other Runner: "You know what I mean!"
Other Runner: “What?”
Me: “Wait, what?”
Other Runner: (Laughs uncomfortably.)
Me: “Wait...Do you consider yourself a runner?”
Other Runner: “Yes but I’m not like, you know, a real runner.”
Other Runner: “You know what I mean.”
Social media and running blogs have changed the running world. It's a double edged sword because it's inspiring to see a diverse group of people overcome obstacles and become runners (and yes sometimes run marathons). But we’ve made it seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about unless you run a marathon. Don’t be fooled! You don’t have to run a marathon if you don’t want to! In fact, here are 6 reasons why you shouldn’t run a marathon --
1. You don’t want to. ( This is a really good reason not to run a marathon.)
2. They’re expensive.
Entrance fees, energy gels, chafe cream – it’s an expensive hobby, don’t be fooled.
3. You don’t have time.
I hate when people use the, "I'm a CEO and I have a family. If I can make time so can you" case. Everyone's different!
4. You hate running. (I know plenty of people who run to stay healthy, not because they enjoy it.)
5. You have a very busy social life/ family life/ your career demands long hours and you just don’t want to sacrifice your free time and/or get up at dawn to run.
One thing that turns people off from running a marathon is...well...it sounds painful! I'll admit with freedom and abandon that it is not easy to run a marathon and it sure as hell isn’t a walk in the park. But it’s manageable! You don’t go from 13 to 26.2 overnight, you gradually increase your distance for months and months to build strength and confidence. It takes hundreds to thousands of miles to run 26.2. And yes, it’s an intimidating distance! After I ran my first half marathon I never wanted to run 13.1 miles again YET ALONE 26.2. I was in so much pain! And paying to be in twice as much pain? No thank you please! But people started hounding me -- "Are you going to run a marathon now?" I thought, "No! And why is everyone assuming I want to run a marathon?!?! It was a miracle that I ran a half marathon?!?”
But personally, the only thing stopping me from wanting to run a marathon was the fact that I didn’t think I could do it. So with a little encouragement, I went for it. Yes it painful and difficult but it was empowering and life changing. Running a marathon helped me find the courage to take a really significant step forward in my life. And now I have fun training for and running marathons! It’s actually possible!
Remember, everyone runs for different reasons. There are runners who have never run an organized race in their lives! Don’t let anyone make you feel like you should run a marathon if you don’t want to.
Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.