No One Expects You To Run A Marathon (But You Can If You Want To)

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!"

Me: “What?”

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.”

Me: “What?”

Other Runner: “You know what I mean.”

Me: “ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH.”

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.)

no one expects you 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.

super busy

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.)

hate

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.

priorities

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.

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.