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Why Running a Marathon Might Change Your Life

“Your Life Doesn't Get Better by Chance, It Gets Better by Change."

The beauty of the marathon is the lack of comfort you experience throughout the entire 26.2 miles.  The start line begins with race day jitters and a nervous tummy.  You may be apprehensive to believe your training or taper prepared you to get through the distance.

Come half way, the impact of the miles find the way to your head, legs and heart.  You question your nutrition.  Somewhere between 13.1 and 24 miles you remind yourself of your WHY to motivate you to the finish.  There’s also a 99.9 percent chance you’ve considered dropping out 50 times by now.  Even the pros will question why they put themselves through this misery.

Have I convinced you yet?

Between two and ten hours later, the finish line is in sight and you are within feet of your final steps.  It suddenly feels all worth it - the training, the early mornings and even the pain.  You completed something so godly, so herculean, tears fall from your family’s eyes and the fear of change suddenly doesn’t feel so scary.  You won your race!

The New York City Marathon this past weekend brought me so much joy knowing thousands of people were running a marathon for the first time in an event that constitutes grit, endurance, community, independence and inspiration like none other.  From Des Linden's post-race smile, to everyone who watched the final few complete the 26.2 with Project Finish, Marathon Sunday prompts an infinite amount of joy. The distance is something almost anyone can reach, and the chance you take on yourself may yield life-changing results you may never have thought possible.

It Takes More than Luck. 

Luck may get you a lottery bib for a Major World Marathon, but it's commitment that will push you to the finish.  With our lives fuller than ever, it’s common to sign up for events without making the time to prepare how you may like to.  To complete a marathon sans maximum pain, having respect for the distance is the golden rule to follow through.

Increase Your Body Awareness.

Running is one of the best methods to give yourself a full body workout. Once you start training for a marathon, you'll gain a much better understanding of what makes your body be at its physical best.  You may also be surprised on the type of foods that provide you optimal nutrition for performance. It also may shock you how much more inclined you are to turn down empty-calorie foods you once loved for greater nutrient dense options.

Learn Your REAL Limits.

According to the science of limits, removing the decision where you cannot complete a marathon, having social accountability and a greater purpose beyond a simple finish you can trigger something called "want power." Want Power is what can give you the extra energy to push you up to 50% of what you believe you can do.  This idea can translate into many additional elements of your life, providing you with the confidence and appropriate serotonin to accomplish more of what you want in work, family and perhaps another marathon!

Expand Your Community.

There are few athletic events where one can physically partake in the same event as the pros.  This feature allows you to enjoy a similar experience as the top finishers and gain a sincere respect for those who take the sport up for a living.  Furthermore, it generates an unparalleled connection to everyone involved no other athletic community has to offer.  Upon completing the 26.2 miles, you'll be given a medal, a foil blanket and the crowds at the finish will make you feel as if you are right at home with the rest of your new friends that finish before, with and after you.  The experience you gain from completing a marathon will further connect you throughout the rest of your life to this unique, uplifting community that encourages greatness at every level.

Forced Time Spent Alone.

Although the running world offers a tremendous community that trickles through from gold medalists to your new work friend that you spend your long runs with now, you'll nevertheless be forced to spend time alone.  Spending time alone is the second rule in The Dalai Lama's Ten Rules for Living a Good and Peaceful Life.  We're constantly connected digitally that it is rare to ever truly find a harmony with being alone.  Training for a marathon will encourage finding bliss in solace, hopefully resulting in discovery and internal peace.  

Inspire Others.

If you took part, or spectated The NYC Marathon last weekend from near or far, you saw a major city come together to positively support 50,000 runners, 139 countries and over 22,000 women.  The top finisher completed the distance in two hours and ten minutes, and some of the final marathoners crossed the finish in more than ten hours.  We often hear about our friends and family's successes, but rarely are we there to witness the act of their greatness.   The first competitive marathon took place in Athens, with only 25 entrants, nine of which completed the race.  The winner finished in just under three hours.  Today, there are over 500 marathons in the United States, and 1.6 million people have finished a marathon displaying the significance of influence the growth of the distance has resulted in. People just like you finished this race, inspiring others to remove the former decision they once thought was not possible.

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