Running A Marathon Showed Me How Far I Could Push My Body

Posted: August 26, 2013 in LIFE
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By Jason Sutcliffe

One of my favourite activities is long distance running. I love it. I love the challenges and obstacles it sets in place. Marathon running is one activity that will teach you a lot about yourself.

“The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race.”~unknown

That is a true statement! No matter how much preparation you do it does not completely prepare you for what you are about to experience, both mentally and physically. I was happy and loving the race when it started, and right up until I hit the 20 mile mark, but then everything changed. The last 6.25-miles were quite possibly the most challenging experience of my life.

I had blisters on my feet, chafing on my legs, hamstrings that wanted to snap, exhaustion and my ankles and knees were just screaming. I had experienced all of those things before but individually. Simultaneously it was surreal, and by far the most uncomfortable state I had ever experienced—ever.

The only thing I knew was that I had already run 20-miles, and there was no way I was going to stop or quit at that point, no matter how much my body wanted to stop. When I hit the last 800-meters is when the feelings of accomplishment started. I had been running for 3h 24min roughly, and it was about to end.

I felt a rush of adrenaline, and all of a sudden those aches, pains and blisters were non-existent. I had an ear-to-ear smile, and remember saying to myself, “Wow, you did it!” It was a high for sure. I felt a sense of accomplishment and knew there was nothing I could not do if I put my mind to it.

I remember being proud, and seeing my family at the finish line and seeing how proud they were. It was one of the single best moments in athletics I have ever had.

I found a quote that describes the feeling perfectly: “At mile 20, I thought I was dead. At mile 22, I wished I was dead. At mile 24, I knew I was dead. At mile 26.2, I realized I had become too tough to kill.”~unknown

If you had asked me at the 20-mile mark if I would ever run another marathon again it would have been no for sure. However, after crossing the finish line, I was in, I fell in love with that rush, and I have vowed to run one a year until either my knees give out or I am too old to do it anymore.

Long distance running has become a lifestyle. There is nothing I enjoy more than my 20-plus kilometer runs a few times a week. I plan to travel once a year with my family somewhere in the world and run a marathon while I am there. Running has improved my health and my life.

“Motivation remains key to the marathon: the motivation to begin; the motivation to continue; the motivation never to quit.”~ Hal Higdon

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