In honor of turning 50 next year, I’ve decided to run a 1/2 marathon. You can read about that decision here. Now that’s decided, and I find myself thinking a lot about running, and wondering why other people run, and why run marathons.
So I decided to ask a few friends why they run and over the next few days, I’ll post their stories.
The questions: Why do you run? Why do you run marathons?
Today’s marathon man is Ray L. age 60:
I started running back in the mid 80’s, when I wasn’t a very active person and my marriage was starting to fall apart. It was a way to relieve some stress and to have some ” alone” time. My running consisted of running around the block a few times ! I gradually built up to my first 5k–the Jacksonville Beach Summer Run–Running on the beach became my favorite thing to do–the movement of your body and the ocean waves rolling onto the shore just seem to go together.
Over the years I gradually increased the distance; and in 1998 ran my first marathon–the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C. Running thru our nation’s capital and crossing the finish line of that first marathon was an experience I will never forget–I was in such a “zone” that I didn’t even see my family standing @ the finish line with a HUGE sign saying “congratulations Dad !” I was surrounded by 1000’s of people yet I felt like I was the most important, and only person around ! I felt so proud of myself–something I didn’t always feel about myself! I think I slept with my finishers medal on that night ! It made my family proud of me also which just added to the euphoria I was experiencing.
Training for a marathon has taught me self discipline–if you’re going to succeed you know you have to get up in the morning and do your training runs–I learned how to plan and use my time.
Marathon running has boosted my self-confidence and self-esteem, has made me a stronger person both physically and mentally–It’s amazing what your body can do when you put your mind to it. You cross that finish line and think “WOW” I did it, I’m a WINNER-no matter how long it took! But watch out–it becomes addictive!
Ray has a great spirit and I appreciate his contribution to the Why do you run? series.
In case you missed the first installment, check out Soler’s Sports own Olympian, Roger Soler.