" How much does it cost to run this marathon then?" I was asked.
" $150? Are you going to win it?"
(snorting quietly to myself)" It is highly unlikely."
" Then why pay that much if you're not going to win?"
Can you imagine it? Me running my first marathon at 41 years of age, with only a few months training from a magazine, up against elite athletes who have trained and been coached for years, crossing the line as first? I'd be asking for at least 3 different drug tests...and looking for the taxi driver who took me to the finish line. LOL
How do I explain to someone it's not about coming first? That it doesn't matter if I come dead last ( and that is more probable) but I will have won? That the weeks of running distances I still freak out over, the days of running alone for hours fighting with myself were all worth it?
I read in Runners World magazine that only 1% of runners worldwide have ever run a marathon. 1%. That's not much. But after I run this marathon in October, I can say I'm in that 1% group....that's got to be a win.
If I look ahead to the marathon, I can say I've gone from an sedentary 41 yr old mum of 4, to running two half marathons and a full 42.2 kms marathon in the space of two years. That's a win.
Staying committed and disciplined over the coming weeks as I train, and over the past weeks as I have trained for the half marathon, has forged a stronger, more confident version of myself. I find that while I may think "20 kilometre training run today, are you KIDDING?" I also know I can do it. That's another win right there.
Seeing my husband and children's faces as I cross that line after hours of running....a huge win.
No matter what distance race I do or have done, be it 5 km, 10km, or 21kms, it will be a win. It will be a win when I cross that line, running, walking or crawling. It will be a win regardless of where I come or what time I do. Because there's more to running than just competition.
Running a marathon for me will be a triumph over my mind. It will be me being better than I was, not better than everyone else. It will be me pushing the boundaries of what I thought I can do and discovering a whole new life.
It will be an experience like no other.