Why running a marathon changes your life?

Everybody has a bucket list in life, things you have to do before you die. I knew I had to run a marathon at least once. I had never run more than 5 km before, but I knew I could finish it with the proper training.  So there I was a Chicago Marathon participant and a rookie at this.

Four months of training went by. Runs got longer and harder, my whole body hurt at sometime or another. My daily routine changed quite drastically, I now thought in terms of mileage, number of goos or carbs for the day. But despite everything I was starting to like it.

Marathon day was getting closer and I was getting more nervous. During the last weeks my dad decided he would run with me which was huge support and calmed my nerves.

Four months later marathon day was here! I knew that the most important thing was to enjoy the run and the overall experience, because to be honest I didn’t know if I was going to do it again.

Suddenly I was in the start line of the marathon with thousands of runners next to me. I cannot even describe the rush and excitement I felt. I started running slowly with a strong pace because I knew I had a long ride ahead. Miles went by and I felt really good. Crossing the half marathon sign was a great relief. The last eight miles where the hardest thing ever. By that time everything started to hurt… literally. I couldn’t feel my body from the hips down to my feet, but I knew if I stopped it would be worst. So I just continued… enjoying the route and the people cheering us on. The amount of people cheering is what helped the most. It inspires you and makes you feel prouder than ever. I was a few miles away from the finish line, pain was more intense than ever but I knew I had to finish. My dad kept saying don’t think about the pain just keep moving. Keep running soon it will all be over.

And indeed, a few minutes later I was crossing the finish line with a sprint holding my dads arm. The minute I stopped running tears ran down my eyes and I was the proudest girl ever.

I can now say I am a marathon finisher! I am in the 1% of the world’s population that runs marathons. I will never forget that day, after all the effort and training it all paid off.

A few months later and after some reflection I can say that marathons teach you many things not just about running. After this experience I knew I could do whatever I intended to do, with a little effort, sacrifice and dedication everything is possible. But the most important thing was for me to understand that the mind is stronger than what your body tells you.