What’s the best part of the marathon for you?
The common answer is, of course, the finish line. Words cannot explain the fulfillment one feels after running the long and arduous 42.195 kilometers of a marathon. Other runners will answer the start or perhaps midway when they encountered a helping hand, a discovery of their inner strength, or simply feeling second wind when they were about to give up.
My answer? What I love most about the marathon is the training. I love that raw, nervous feeling in your heart when you’ve found the perfect marathon training program, as you sign up for the race, or just day dream about the marathon. I love waking up in the wee hours of the morning to meet friends for a long run, half of which will be done in the dark before the world awakes. I love crossing out each run feeling like I deserve a medal for pushing myself hard each and every single time. I love feeling fit and light and strong during the months leading up to the race and, even more, seeing how my body changes, how muscles suddenly pop out of nowhere, and the weight melts away. Truth to tell, I love the journey—every single part of it, including sweat, tears, and pain—more than the destination itself. The race is just icing on the cake.
Tomorrow, training officially begins for New York City Marathon 2011. The program I’m using is from the FIRST program pulled out from the book Run Less, Run Faster (available at Runnr). I am so ready!
– My marathon folder holds all my training programs from the past. It has my Nike Hood to Coast, Singapore 2009, Condura, HK, NYCM 2010, and now NYCM 2011 program. On the left is inspiration provided by Little Miss Bull Runner –