Friday, November 18, 2011

Going the Distance - Guest Post by Jackie Clark

A little while back I was contacted by Jackie about doing a guest post and I thought it was a great idea! I have seen others have had some guest posts from Jackie as well, here is mine hope you ENJOY IT :)

Going the Distance

By: Jackie Clark

There are a few things every serious runner knows about a marathon. One being that it is 26.3 miles long, another being that the marathon itself was created in honor of the run of the Greek soldier Pheidippides from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. Of course, aside from the technical aspects of just what a marathon is, every runner knows it takes intense concentration, determination, dedication and heart.

I learned all of the above earlier this year when I completed my first marathon for charity. In addition to determination, dedication and heart, the amount of emotion involved in running a marathon, especially one held to raise money for people suffering from cancer, like mesothelioma, is staggering. Running a charity marathon for cancer is not simply infused with the emotion of the physical demands of the run and the completion of it, but with the emotion of the spectators and fellow runners, many of who have had a family member suffering from the disease or the treatment thereof.

Anyone who has trained for either a marathon or half marathon can attest to the arduousness of the physical aspect of the race. Training is something that has to be done on a daily basis, and again, requires dedication and commitment. Most marathoners train on a roughly 40 to 50 mile a week basis, with a beginner needing to log at least 35 miles. And it is not merely the physicality of the race a potential marathoner should train for; it is also the mental aspect of the run that must also be part of the preparation equation. If these preparations are made and practiced consistently, it makes the completion of the race all the sweeter.

The amount of work put into readying yourself for a marathon can be daunting, but you find ways to help get you through the run. Music has always been my personal motivator to help me get through those long miles. I love blaring my music, which varies from classical rock to country and just singing with the beat of my heart and feet. It really helps me focus on every physical motion as well as clearing my mind of the typical days stresses. This is why I love to prepare for marathons.

Whether it is a water station worker, medic, or simply people in the crowd cheering you on, crossing that finish line bring on the kind of emotion that creates both tears and laughter. The fact that I knew that not only did I personally accomplish something, but also that I did so while potentially helping others was certainly one of the most satisfying aspects of crossing that finish line.

1 comment:

theAlmostRunner said...

This is beautiful! Kinda makes ME want to run a marathon! : )