Moving up to the Marathon

How do you know when the time is right to consider moving up to a full marathon? Until quite recently, this is a question that I didn’t think that I would ever ponder. Running 26.2 miles was for other runners. I had no desire to run a marathon.

However, a few months ago, something started stirring inside of me. It was a weird longing and I tried to ignore it at first. The feeling was that I wanted to run a full marathon. Up until this point, the longest race distance that I have completed is the half marathon, and that seemed like an almost impossible goal the first time that I trained for it. Physically and mentally, it was difficult. I built it up in my mind to be something more powerful than it was.

My second half marathon was a virtual one, and although the mental side was better, physically it was still challenging. Running a full marathon seemed like an insane idea. Just thinking about the amount of time that I would have to commit to training was daunting.

Even so, something inside was telling me that the time might be right. It was like a whisper in my soul was urging me to reflect on the idea. One thing that I have learned in my forty-plus years is that it’s best not to ignore those inner whispers. They won’t stop until they are acted upon.

So, I took a brave step and texted a good friend to tell her that I was thinking about registering for a marathon. Just mentioning the idea was scary. Part of me was looking for support and the other part was hoping that she’d go with me. You see, the marathon that I was contemplating would involve travel. If she wanted to go, then maybe I could convince myself to do the marathon.

To my surprise and delight, she responded that she would not only consider accompanying me but also think about running the marathon. I left it alone for several weeks without making any decisions. Part of me wanted to do the marathon, but another part of me kept finding reasons why I shouldn’t.

As the days passed, I realized that all of the reasons that I had for not doing the marathon stemmed from a place of fear. In my article about why I love running, I wrote about my desire for continued growth. Well, making decisions out of fear is a surefire way to stunt growth. Maybe I should set that fear aside and challenge myself with the marathon.

So, I texted my friend again. After several texts and an exciting phone conversation, we decided to go for it. I had butterflies in my stomach on the day of registration, both before and after I registered. What did I do? A full marathon!

At the time of this writing, the race is several months away and my official training has not begun. Right now, I’m trying to prepare myself mentally while I maintain my fitness. I’m still anxious about the mileage and the logistics of the trip, but I’m thrilled to begin this new adventure. I look forward to writing about it in the future.

So, how do you know when the time is right to consider moving up to a full marathon? If there is no physical reason why you shouldn’t, you have the time to dedicate to the training, and most of all there is a little voice inside your head telling you that you should, then the time might be right. There really is only one way to find out!