For some people the Marathon distance of 42.2km | 26.2mi is a goal that they want to achieve.
For others it’s a progression of achieving another distance.
When I first started running I thought 5km was far enough, let alone 42.2km.
But as I ran more and more, I could see why people liked going longer distances.
After I ran my first fun run, in March 2012 I was addicted. I had my eyes set on achieving 10km. When I achieved that in May 2012, I then thought, what about a half. It’s doable. So I bit the bullet and dived right in.
I love the half distance (21.1km |13.1mi). I don’t know what it is about this distance I love, but I just do.
A lot of people have asked me if I will ever do a Marathon. I use to tell them, I’m not sure, maybe. But as time has gone on, and I have more knowledge in my head and heart. I know that the Marathon is definitely not for me.
There are lot of factors as to why, so let me explain them to you.
Plays a HUGE factor in this.
So there is the time you have to put into training.
When you get closer to your ‘Marathon’ date, your long distance runs are anywhere from 3 to 4 hours long. That’s a massive chunk of time for me. I don’t have the luxury of that. I have a family to look after. I’m a single parent during the weekdays, as my partner works away from home.
Yes I can run on the days the kids are in care, however I still need to run a household and a business, and I don’t have the option of going for runs after work or dinner.
My kids are still very young. Miss K is 6, and Master M is 4. They need to be looked after. I just can’t leave them home alone. They are not able to look after themselves (even though they think they can).
I also will not sacrifice time away from them. Family time with them is important to me. And I rather build a solid family foundation than be selfish by being out running for 3 to 4 hours at a time.
The distance doesn’t actually interest me. If it did, then I would show more interest, and possibly want to do it. And that’s another factor.
If you really want something, then you work at achieving it. My want factor of achieving a full marathon is like 0 (ZERO). And that comes down to Interest and Time (again).
All that training is going to have a huge physical, mental, and spiritual toll. And I rather not go into something knowing that I could hate it by the end of it.
So why ruin a good thing. I love running yes, but I also know me and what I’m capable of. So I’m happy sticking to the half distance, and I wont be doing a full marathon any time soon.
For those that have run a marathon what has been your experience. Loved it or hated it?
For those who haven’t run a marathon would you consider it. Why or why not.
17 thoughts on “Why the Marathon is NOT for me”
Great post! I have run 1 marathon and that was pre kids. I did it and honestly never had the desire to run another one, I still really do not. The distance on roads is a bit much for me, I don’t know. Now I did sign up for a 50k trail race, 31 miles on a trails is right up my ally. There is a calming feeling along with the adrenaline I feel out on the trails. I could not fathom running 3 hours on a road but 7 hours in the woods is pretty close to Heaven for me. It will be a sacrifice for a few months but I look at it that the hours I run on weekends for those months but thankfully I now only have to run a home and am lucky enough to have become a stay at home mom recently to my 3 boys.
I think the best part of running is it is each runner can get out of it exactly what they want/need. There is a pace, distance and goal for each one of us and doesn’t effect the runner lining up next to us. So rock on with your half marathons proudly, it is an awesome distance, and run on mama!
I have no problem with trails. In fact I love trails. If they offered more marathons in trails, then I may consider it.
But still kids a bit too young, don’t want to take away time from them.
Good luck with your training Jess, enjoy your trail running.
Great post! You know, although I am a huge marathon runner and addicted to them:) I have never thought every distance was good for everyone. If I wasn’t single, I might not do as many as I am able to now. Running should be fun, non complicated and something that fits into ones life. That is why all distances are great! My sister is like you, she is a great runner. Could probably knock off a marathon with no problem if she had the time. But her kids come first, and she has zero desire to try. She loves running, I imagine one day when the kids are older I can see her possibly venturing the marathon direction, but right now I think she is amazing for putting her kids and family first. Keeping her love of running, but only as it fits with life.
I know some people are able to fit in the time to train and have young kids. But at the end of the day it’s each to their own. And there has to be a want… I don’t have a want. I’m glad you enjoy it though. Why stop something that you enjoy. I’m not going to stop running, and I love the half distance, so I’ll stick with that cause like you said, it fits in with my life/style
GREAT post! Found you through the Fitness Friday Linkup! 🙂 The marathon isn’t for everyone…
I ran my first and only marathon in 2011… It was a love/hate relationship… but I definitely want to do another one! I think it’s the fact that it seems so out of reach but then you put all the time/training/emotion into it and find out you can truly accomplish anything you put your mind to! 🙂
I think if and when I do decide to do one, I will be very particular about which one I pick. There are so many to choose from. But you know what I’d rather do crazy stuff like Tough Mudder over a marathon anyday.
Marathons definitely aren’t for everyone. I have plenty of friends who have given them a try and hated them, and plenty who have no desire to even try one. For me, once and I was hooked.
While they are definitely physically draining, I actually find that the longest runs are often mentally, emotionally and spiritually rejuvenating!
While it is tricky to train for marathons with kids, it can definitely be done. I have 9 kids, and they come first. Heck, with that many kids they have to come first! 😉 That means much of my running is done at odd hours while they are asleep, on a treadmill when I’d rather be outside, or with a stroller (double or triple) when often I would rather be running on my own, but it is worth it for me! And now my kids are doing races with me as well- I love that I can run with them! Tomorrow 4 of my kids, age 6-11, will be running a 5k. The 4yr old will be doing the 1k. It is so much fun to do events with them! I hope that one day some of them may want to marathon with me. 🙂
Wow Catey 9 kids that’s impressive.
I do get up at sparrow’s fart and do do some running, mainly short runs (as husband works away from home during the week).
The house is tiny, and I don’t have room for a treadmill, but if did have one then yes I would clock up the km’s on that, but i do prefer running outside. And I do love my trails.
My kids also love coming to run club. Miles loves when I run with him, but his a mummy’s boy. Kayla enjoy’s running, but much prefers ballet. I do have a 3km family run planned in July which should be fantastic.
I have the exact same thoughts about the marathon. My children are 7 & 11. I honestly have no interest in running for that long. People keep saying i’ll change my mind – I’m not so sure!
Congratulations on your discovery of the magic of running, racing and achieving new and increasingly tough goals! I have been a runner, off and on, all my life, but was only recently bitten by the marathon bug. I just ran my second, last weekend in Ottawa. I am also the father of two boys, 11 and 13.
It’s very true that finding time to run with a young family is very difficult. Kudos to you for finding a way!
I think the fact that you were
moved to write this post shows that there is a kernel of curiosity for running a marathon one day. As your kids get older you will very likely have more time for you. Please don’t close the door on this challenge. Just put it away for now…
You say “…all that training is going to have a huge physical, mental and spiritual toll….” That is EXACTLY why I love training for/running marathons. There is a price to be paid, but the physical, mental and spiritual gains are unfathomable and enrich every aspect of your life. You might hate it, sure, but you might love it. How will you ever know for sure?
Good luck on your training and thank you for sharing!
I’m enjoying running, and I’m still only a young spring chicken at 32.99 years of age (a birthday coming soon). So yes, the door to the marathon is still an option. Still plenty of time to change my mine, but at this current moment in time… yeah it’s a no.
I have run 2 marathons. The first was Chicago I was perfectly trained, the atmosphere was amazing and I enjoyed every minute of it even the end. It actually hurt more to quit running than it did to run. The second marathon I bonked at mile 19 and didn’t finish I am still annoyed that I have that in my past and I do plan on doing another one in the future. Probably the one I bonked at so I can prove that I can do it. I didn’t train well at all. I am like you though I have a 16 month old and another one on the way. Family time with them is important. I also work full time. The half distance is way more doable at this time in my life than the full. Someday I will do one just not any time soon. Great post!!
I fell in love with Chicago when I was there over ten years ago. I would love to run that marathon.
Bummer about a dnf, but you know what i bet it was a huge learning experience.
Glad you liked the post.
Loved the post! This is great food for thought. I’ve run 5 halfs and 1 full marathon. I am really glad I ran the full just to say I’d done it and accomplish that goal, but the half is my favorite distance, and I’ve already signed up for 2 more this year!
I have my 2nd half coming up in 7 weeks. I haven’t decided on my 3rd yet, but enjoy your runs.
I love the half distance. I have no desire to go further. But my absolute favourites are just a bit shorter – I love the 10 mile or 15 km the most. Then the half as a close second.
I’ve run four halfs so far this year (and became a half fanatic in the process) NOW I’m focuses more on improving as a runner.
I’m so happy I stumbled across your blog from the running bloggers website!
I’m glad you found me via Running Bloggers. Caroline does a great job over there, and I’m glad I found it, because it’s nice to get in touch with other runners who blog, if you know what I mean.
But yes, I too love the half distance, 4 halve’s already this year, that’s impressive. I am aiming to do 3 this year, but we’ll see. I have to pick my races as busy family life, and they can get expensive too.
I have found that plyo workouts are a runners friend with helping you get faster. They have helped me for sure. My tempo pace has gone from 5.20min pace per km to 4.45min pace, (in shorter distances like 5 to 10km). I’m aiming to get a sub 1h50m time in 7 weeks when I do RunMelbourne.
Good luck with your halves I’m sure you’ll go out and crush it.