Lessons From My First Marathon

Coming from a very active background with a family of distance runners, a marathon was never really a “bucket list” item for me.  I knew one day I would run a marathon but it never seemed like a big deal.  In fact, I still forget that it is completely insane to willingly decide (and pay) to run for hours on end.

But after paying a $100 entry fee, giving up the better part of my Saturdays to train, and learning every single hill in the Atlanta area, I completed my first marathon!  Even though I was mentally and physically prepared to run 26.2 miles, running a marathon is basically a right of passage in my family, so I never expected the overwhelming sense of accomplishment I experienced post-race.

1454674_10101148725916077_468805750_nSince I began training and especially since I’ve finished, I’ve had so many people ask me, “How do you do it?! How can you run for 4 hours and not stop?” or more often, “I could never do that.”

I learned one very important lesson from my marathon training that has honestly helped me prosper in my personal and professional life.

decision + dedication = success

374494_10101171338101077_786988820_nWhen I decided to run a marathon, that was it – there was no turning back.  I had made the decision.  When I decided I needed to run 15 miles on Saturday so I’d be on track for my race, I went out and did it without making any excuses.  Or when I decided that I had to wake up at 5am to get a run in because my schedule that day didn’t allow it anywhere else, I did it. For me, success did not come with without both components.

Dedication is not only needed to complete a marathon, it is the core of a healthy and fit lifestyle.  It is so easy to make excuses in today’s world with all of the distractions around us.  None of us have enough hours in the day, there will always be something more fun to do than hitting the gym after work and Pinterest will continue to inspire people to bake delicious chocolatey treats.  Just like my marathon, choosing the vegetables over the fries or going for a walk instead of watching another episode of your favorite TV show is a decision.  And once the decision is made, that’s it!

So yes, I believe that anyone can run a marathon.

it starts with a decision.

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