What is it about 26.2?

My husband and I were arguing one night about the reality of my being able to train for a 26.2 once we had our baby. The issue is not so much whether I am capable of training to run the marathon distance but whether or not we can figure out the family balance. I would like to be able to train with the support of my husband and ensure the new baby is not neglected. Details and marital differences aside, his opinion was that 13.1 is a perfectly reasonable distance to manage as a family and he ultimately asked, “what is it about 26.2?”

Marine Corps Marathon 2011 Finish Area

I went from being near tears about the prospect of not running any more marathons to a state of reverence with a silly smile and I would like to believe a twinkle in my eye. Just the idea of a marathon makes me happy. First I think about crossing the finish line and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with running 26.2 miles. (This is not to say there is a feeling of accomplishment with racing other distances.) Then I think about all the training that leads up to race day. The build of distance over weeks of training, the fartleks and intervals to build speed, the long slow distance (LSD) runs, the hills and the improvements that come with all those weeks of training. I think about the routine that comes with logging 10, 20, 30 miles a week…the early morning runs sometimes in total darkness and sometimes under a full moon. I think about the evening runs that can be the perfect night cap.

What it is about 26.2 is a combination of setting the goal, working to achieve the goal and then actually accomplishing the goal. The thing about 26.2 is that it is twice the accomplishment (in my mind) of 13.1. I know I can do 13.1. Every time I achieve 26.2 though I have a new sense of self-confidence and pride in the work I did to get there.

Every time I run that full marathon I am amazed by what I can train my body to do.

What is it for you about 26.2?

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2 thoughts on “What is it about 26.2?

  1. Tinaf

    Great post. I think all of the above reasons you mentioned actually. For me, I can do 13.1 without too much training. But not with 26.2. That distance FORCES me to be diligent and train and since I have done a few of them, trying to gain a new PR keeps me motivated during training. Always trying to push my boundaries…

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