Marathoners: Read this.

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by coach Amy Anderson:

Why are you doing this?

Whether it’s your 1st, your 5th, or your 15th, what is your real reason for training for this marathon? If you think about it, we all have so many choices about how to spend our extra time, our extra money, our extra energy. Why in the world would we choose to spend it training for a marathon?

I want you to consider the difference between “I just want to have fun” (it’s unlikely that you’ll be having fun every day, especially at mile 21 on February 14) or “I want to get in shape (you’re all in good shape or you wouldn’t be running as much and as far as you already are) versus the REAL reason that you committed to this.

Some people do it because they aren’t challenged in other areas of their lives. Some do it for self esteem. Some do it because they have quit other things when the going got tough and they want to prove that they aren’t a quitter.

You might say that you want to qualify for Boston. But WHY do you want to qualify for Boston? What does that mean to you? Why does it matter whether you do or not?

You don’t have to tell anyone your reason. Whatever your true reason, no one else needs to know. But you can call on it on a rainy winter morning when you need to get out of bed and run. Remind yourself of it when you get home from work and it would be so easy to pop open a beer and plop yourself on the couch, instead of lacing up your shoes. You’ll need that reason on race day, when a little gremlin is sitting on your shoulder, saying, “Everything hurts. Maybe I should walk.” Or, “I could drop out; no one would care” Or, “This was a stupid idea. I knew I couldn’t do it.”

When you find your limit, how do you push it out just a little further? You remember your reason, your real reason, for committing to this goal in the first place. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to figure out what that is. We’re training for a marathon because we want to. No one’s making us. We don’t have to run. We get to run.

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