April 8th, 2018. I ran a marathon. The Schneider Electric Paris Marathon to be exact! How INSANE is that?! I’m honestly surprised that I finished, let alone finished in under 6 hours. For those who don’t know how far that is: 26.2 miles or 42.195km. That is a LONG WAY. Marathons are a mental game, just as much as they are physical. Throughout my training, my family and friends kept asking me, why I ran a marathon. I ran a marathon for 4 reasons, so today I’m going to share those reasons with you all.
1. To Improve My Physical Fitness
While I said that running a marathon is mental, it is definitely physical as well. I did a horrible job training. This was partly due to the constant snow in Paris and a recurring injury. Physically getting through 26.2 miles is not easy, it’s actually one of the most difficult things that I’ve ever done. I haven’t been consistent about my fitness and exercise since I played soccer (football) in high school. Since then, I go through periods of serious commitment, but many periods of rest.
By finishing, I proved that I can condition my body a for serious effort. I don’t have to be playing a sport and with a little self-motivation, I can do something great. Plus, I got to eat LOTS of food….it was so nice. I wanted to get my fitness back on track and continue to improve my fitness to do some other task, like an Ironman, traithalon, or some other crazy fitness thing!
2. To Learn More About Paris
Paris is one of those cities that seems huge, but in reality, Paris is quite small. Running through the city in prep for the marathon was an interesting time as I was able to go through neighborhoods I probably wouldn’t have gone to, find new spots for Instagram, and so much more. It’s given me a basic map in my head as the marathon route runs directly through the city. Running is a great way to learn about how a city is set up and where main attractions are located. I’ve learned so much about this gorgeous city since marathon training and next time I move to a city, I’ll be sure to run to learn a city on my two feet.
3. To Honor My Dad with a Marathon
About a year before he died, my dad and I were on a fitness kick. He was way way farther than I was and we talked about running a 10K, half, and full marathon together. Obviously, I ended up doing all of those while training, but jumped the gun and did a full marathon. The Paris Marathon just so happened to coincide with the weekend before the first anniversary of his death. It was a way for me to honor him after his death and be closer to him. While I definitely think there may have been other ways to do this, I wanted to do something special that we were going to do together.
4. To Prove to Myself That It Was Possible
If you’ve noticed over the last few months, I’ve been struggling to find any motivation for myself. I wanted to run this marathon to prove to myself that I could truly do anything I put my mind to and the only thing that would stop me was myself. It’s selfish, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could succeed and do something that wasn’t easy.
I was able to get through the thick and the thin of the marathon and keep going, with some encouragement. There were times when I stopped, but in the end, I kept going and finished. While I don’t have my medal yet, I know that I finished and that I will continue to put that motivation to work in other ways. Just like last weekend’s London Marathon, Paris was hot and it was hard to finish, but it was necessary and I pushed through to the final finish.
Running a marathon was intense. There were tears, lots of pain, moments of doubt, and times when I wanted to quit, but I didn’t. It’s something that I do not plan on doing in the near future, but maybe one day I’ll run the London, NYC, Boston, and Disney marathons (those are my list). I definitely want to train better before I run another marathon, probably building up for a year or two until I know I can confidently run it in under 4-5 hours. Setting goals keeps me on track, whether I like it or not. I want to continue setting goals, big and small, to remind myself why I ran the Paris Schneider-Electric Marathon.