Heard the one about the marathoner who was wearing a t-shirt with "26.2" printed on it and the grocery store clerk asked him, "What's 26.2? A new radio station?" Where I live, many people don't even drive 26.2 miles in a day let alone run that distance!
Today I did another training run for my next marathon. It was only 4 miles since I have a race tomorrow.
I enjoy both training for and racing marathons. The training lasts months and quickly becomes part of your weekly routine and lifestyle. When you do finally arrive at the starting line of the marathon, it's only because of the dedication and perseverance over the months you spent in training.
All those months make me really love race day, but my favorite moments are all those miles spent getting there. The marathon itself is merely the reward for all that effort.
Studies have shown that three out of four marathoners enjoy the training as much as or more than the marathon itself. Nobody can deny that completing a marathon is a life-changing event. It's like earning your doctor's degree or giving birth. Whether anybody else recognizes it or not, you did something special. Most of us runners have drawers filled with 5K shirts. Marathon shirts tend to be fewer but more special.
Runners who cross the finish line of a marathon, regardless of their age, do so with both exhaustion and elation. I really do believe that a person's age is only just a number that has very little impact on what a person can try to accomplish or achieve in life. At 69, I'm getting to know my body and its limitations. I feel like it still has a few good marathons left in it. Time will tell. I don't run because I have to. I don't run for other people (unless it's a charity race). I run because I can. And as long as I can run, I'll compete.
My advice to newbies is to relax and have a great time running. You are blessed to be running at all. Every day is a gift from God. It is a blessing to get outdoors. I never want to forget that.