Why the Marathon?

A recent post on an online message board got me thinking about this question. I have now run six marathons over the last four years and I registered for number seven a matter of hours after completing number six.

My current focus on the marathon distance does not mean that I don’t enjoy the shorter distances. In fact, at some point I know that I likely won’t be able to dedicate the time needed to train for a marathon and that focusing on going faster in the shorter distances will be a a better option for me.

Training properly for a marathon takes a big time commitment. For now I try to minimize the impact of marathon training on my life by running in the morning before I go to work, running home from work and by bringing my daughter along for my weekend runs in her Chariot.

Now that still leaves the question of why I do it. Simply, I like the challenge of preparing for a marathon over the 16 weeks leading up to race day and I enjoy the sense of accomplishment at the end of the marathon. The marathon distance is a tough distance to prepare for and even after 16 weeks of training you need a lot of elements to come together so you can reach your goal.

After running my first marathon I set myself the goal of eventually qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I have been fortunate to progressively get faster with each successive marathon while at the same time avoiding injury. Following last Sunday’s Ottawa Marathon I am more confident than ever that it is a realistic goal. That more than anything motivated me to quickly commit to a fall marathon again this year by registering for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Do you enjoy training for marathons or do you prefer working on going faster at the shorter distances?

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