tl;dr: Having never run more than six miles at a time, I trained for and then ran a marathon in a span of five months. It made me wonder why I struggle to commit to other things that matter to me, such as writing, long-term. I’m trying to replicate my success with running in my other goals and pursuits, and this space is part of that. You might first want to read part one of this post: “I Ran a Marathon …”
In July of 2018, I decided I wanted to run a marathon. In January of 2019, I did.
There were a number of things I hoped to get out of this: (1) I wanted to finally feel like a “real” runner, and I figured that running a marathon would certainly do it; (2) bragging rights, of course; (3) some self-love; and (4) I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something really, really hard.
Up until this point, I’d never really committed myself to a long-term project—at least, not something on my own. I needed to prove to myself that I could focus not only on the dream, but making the dream happen. For that, I had to learn how to rely on myself and myself alone.
I trained for a total of five months—spending over seventy hours running for a total of 427 miles. In the end, I got a medal, a perfectly Instagramable photo, and a major sense of accomplishment. I did something I thought I would never do, not because I couldn’t, but because I was too afraid to try.
Now that I’ve proven to myself that I can reach big goals with the right preparation and the time well-spent—or, successfully chase my wall—I’m trying to apply similar behaviors to other endeavors–writing, specifically. Applying to grad school, too. For now, focusing more on the writing. It’s hard to get into grad school if you don’t have a portfolio, after all. Next week I’ll be posting my specific running and writing goals for the year, and how I plan to keep myself accountable, so you guy can have full visibility into my intentions.
I’m using these posts as a way to keep myself accountable—a topic for another post upcoming in the next couple of days. I intend to talk about a lot of things here: running, of course, and what it’s taught me; expecting and managing failure; my progress toward my goals; writing prompts and digital workshops; inevitably some normal “life” stuff; and probably some thoughts on what I’m reading. Oh—and, of course, cat pics. You’ll notice there’s also a section for my running logs, where I’ll post the details of and my thoughts on the runs I go on from here on. Don’t worry, if you followed my Instagram account dedicated to my marathon training (@larkelruns) and you’re not as interested in long-form content (though I promise to generally keep it pretty short and sweet from here on out), there’ll still be plenty of content there, too.
I hope you find these posts at least somewhat interesting, and maybe even helpful for yourself, though I’m not going to pretend I can help anyone other than myself, which is, selfishly perhaps, really all I’m trying to do with this. I don’t “have it all together” or “know what I’m doing” (hah!) by any means—that’s something we’re all constantly working on. I do, however, think it’s easier for us all to get where we want to be if we talk about what we’re doing, share ideas, and listen to and support one another. So, if you do feel compelled by something I post, or if you’re working on your own big dreams, I’d love to hear about it in the comments or a personal message, and will maybe share it a future post, too, if you’d like. I promise I don’t bite. (Well, I do, but only if you deserve it.)
I should add: I am not a professional or a doctor. All views and opinions posted here are my own, and should not be misconstrued with advice. What works for my body might not works for yours. While I’d love to talk to you about different techniques and tricks, please also consult a real doctor, and not just some twenty-something chick on the internet. You’ll probably regret that.