Having completed my first marathon, I realize that the entire experience of training for a marathon is much more than physical, it is also mental and spiritual training.
Commitment and Goal Setting
First there is the commitment – setting a date to run the marathon and then doing the training every week to meet that goal. Mental and spiritual growth happens when I say I am going to do something, and then I follow-through, week after week and get it done. Between mile marker 24 through 26, when I knew I was going to complete the marathon, I experienced an incredible sense of personal satisfaction and gratitude. I felt grateful to my husband and children and running partner and her spouse for their support; completing the marathon training would not have happened without them.
Mental and spiritual growth also happen when I push myself beyond my comfort zone. This is true physically, as well as other areas of my life, such as facing fears. I now have a much greater respect for professional athletes. It takes incredible focus and concentration to push the physical limits of our bodies. Inner strength comes from accomplishing something you thought you could not do.
During the race, I felt inspired by many things, including the runners who were far older than me, such as the 7 women and 36 men over 70 years old who completed the race. One man in the race was moving forward with assistance from braces on his arms. I saw the following quote on the back of an older woman’s t-shirt…
Dead Last Finisher (DLF)
is greater than
Did Not Finish (DNF)
which is much greater than
Did Not Start (DNS)
Here are a few more inspirational t-shirts that I saw during the race…
“Impossible is an Opinion – Not a fact”
“It’s not sweat – It’s liquid awesome”
and finally “If you think this is hard – Ask my mom about chemo”
Raising Money for Cancer Research