The Truth About Running

“I could never do that,” said everyone who hears that I run half marathons, that I’m training for a full marathon, and that I wake up at 5:00 in the morning on Saturdays to run.

These people mean well. In a roundabout way they are trying to complement me and my goals. At the same time, they are distancing themselves from me. And let’s face it, unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from running, they are lying to themselves.

It didn’t used to bother me when people said these words to me. They would roll off my shoulders, and we would move on to the next topic. Now that I am training for this marathon, this standard response is driving me crazy.

Because it’s just not true.

Here’s the truth about running: You could do it.

I am not a super human. I don’t wake up in the morning, stretch, jump out of my bed, and slip into my running shoes. My thoughts are not consumed by the road and the steady beat of my feet hitting the pavement. I don’t crave the burning in my muscles or lungs.

That, my friends, is a crazy person, and I like to think that I am relatively normal.

The phrase “I couldn’t do it” bugs me because I think people are cheating themselves of a possible reality. They would rather tell themselves an easy excuse than face the work that it takes to run. I realize that not everyone is cut out to be a runner. I’m not even sure I was cut out for this. I don’t have the natural body of a runner. I’m not fast, and to be honest, it took me years to breathe right during a run.

And yet, running is positively simple. It is one foot after the other.

Yes, it takes endurance to run a half marathon. It takes even greater endurance to run a full marathon. It takes discipline. It takes mental toughness. It takes prioritizing it into your day.

I did not start running by training for a marathon. In my early days, one mile was an accomplishment. Six miles seemed like an eternity. Twelve miles seemed like a sin. Even saying twenty-six miles out loud was like say Lord Voldemort’s name.

But running, like lots of other things in life, is a process. It’s a “one step at a time” kind of thing.

So please, stop saying that you couldn’t do it.

Believe in yourself enough to know that you could, in fact, put one foot in front of the other for 10 minutes, for a mile, for two miles, or for twenty-six.

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