Question of the Week: What Marathon Are You Running?

Question of the Week: What "marathon" are you running?

This post is written by Stacey Shipman, founder of Healthy South Shore.

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed. – Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

Today is Marathon Monday in Boston and it’s going to be a hot one. Many runners will defer their dream until 2013. Some will lace up and run through the heat. Do you know someone running today?

Pre-Boston Marathon 2000

By definition a marathon is:

  • a race on foot of 26 miles 385 yards (26.2 miles); an event in the modern Olympics
  • any long or arduous task, assignment, etc

A long or arduous task. A marathon doesn’t have to be a physical road race.

This week’s question is of course inspired by the Boston Marathon and the above definition:

What marathon are you running?

And perhaps more importantly, what marathon are you training for?

Whether you want to jog 1 mile, walk for 10 minutes per day, hike to the top of Mt Washington, eat less sugar, cook more healthy meals at home, create a more fulfilling career, get out of debt or age with good health and energy, you have a “marathon” you’re training for and running. How are you doing?

Friend and colleague Kathleen Ogar of Infinite Health and Wellness in Hanover posted this quote on her Facebook page yesterday:

“I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.” ~ John Hanc, running writer

As a former marathon runner I always tell people – it’s a mental game first. No matter how large or small your goal, is your head in the game? Do you believe you have what it takes to make your “marathon” dream – perhaps to live a healthier life – a reality?

When I’m dragging on my own goals I think back to my marathon training days. I’m reminded that any worthwhile “long and arduous task” requires mental toughness, belief, courage and action.

Every step you take is a step towards completing your self-defined marathon.

Your turn: What “marathon” are you running? Maybe it’s 26.2 miles, maybe running isn’t involved at all. Are you mentally prepared before you take the leap? Share your goals in the comments and we can all keep each other accountable.

Running today? Best of luck to all the runners in the 2012 Boston Marathon. Be safe, be smart, finish strong!

Stacey Shipman is a speaker, writer and founder of Healthy South Shore. Her goal: empower women to make healthy choices and do their best work. When not working you can find her practicing yoga, writing, working on a jigsaw puzzle, at the beach or spending time with her husband Michael and their two cats Luli and Habibi.

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