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Why I am running my 13th Marathon

Posted by George Parker on

I am in the doldrums of marathon training, less than three weeks from race day. My legs are tired and sluggish, and my mental strength is wavering. My coach has decided to give me two days off as rest, which was not part of the plan or something I have done before, but something I believe my body needs to arise fresh and fit for the race.

Instead of running, I am taking the time today to remind myself why I am running this marathon. Is it only to chase a new PR, or are there other reasons from which I can draw strength?

  • To qualify for the NYC Marathon as a sub-elite (2:57), which is far harder achievement than the Boston Qualification standard (3:10) for my age group
  • To qualify for the Boston Marathon as a 41-year-old (3:10)
  • To improve on overcoming negative self-talk and sabotage during a race. I have always struggled to be kind to myself while running, and each marathon race is an opportunity to get better.
  • To have FUN running an iconic marathon with thousands of other people in the running community
  • To visit a new place in the United States at the beginning of summer
  • To continue to improve my cardiovascular fitness enabling me to live a healthy life
  • To complete my 13th marathon
  • To complete a marathon in my 7thS. state
  • To have a mini vacation in June
  • To demonstrate to my kids a healthy lifestyle and how to continue setting and chasing goals throughout life
  • To finish what I started
  • To maintain the discipline
  • To become a better runner to set a new PR even if not today, eventually
  • To finish marathon training to have more time to spend with the family this summer
  • To do something less than 1% of the population can do
  • To get better at my nutrition to avoid hitting the marathon wall
  • To do something (for the 13th time) that I never thought I could do
  • To practice being kind and empathetic to myself even when the race gets hard
  • To feel alive and present doing something difficult that requires complete focus
  • To find that moment of self-doubt and weakness and push through it
  • To cross the finish line and receive that medal
  • To drink that post-run celebratory beer!
  • To maintain a healthy weight
  • To use running as a common anchor for better decisions on health, eating, and strength
  • To be proud of myself
  • To be part of the running community
  • To inspire others that are watching
  • To be a role model to my future self
  • To show my kids that everyone can do hard things
  • To finish marathon training so that I can play mixed tennis with my wife this summer
  • To not quit when things are difficult

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