Recently, our own Aimee King did something extraordinary. She jetted off to Chicago and completed her first marathon. Pounding the pavement for 42 kilometers (or 26 miles) isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, but it certainly is a life challenge that many people dream of tackling.
So, why do it? We asked Aimee about her motivations, her challenges, and some of the lessons she learned along the way.
SV: Aimee, congratulations on your run. Why did you decide to run a marathon?
AK: I did it because I wasn’t sure if I could do it and was intimidated by the idea of it. Training was very time consuming. I started running home from work during the week and then did the longer runs on the weekend. The weekend runs were very long, lasting two to three hours as I got closer to the marathon.
SV: Why and how did you start out running?
AK: I found running very peaceful. Running is just a way to be alone with my thoughts. I also liked the simplicity of it. All you need is a pair of shoes. And there are so many great running spots in Vancouver.
SV: And running the marathon itself?
AK: The actual marathon was really tough. Between the 35 and 40 mark, I wanted to give up because my legs were in a lot of pain. I wanted more than anything to just stop and sit at the sidewalk.
SV: Any life lessons from this experience?
AK: What I have learned from this whole process is that we are all really capable of much more than what we think we can do. We just have to push ourselves to get past what we think our limitations are.
SV: Do you have any tips for other people thinking about running a marathon?
AK: I’m by no means an expert – far from it and I’m a slow runner too – but there are some tips I can share.
If you want to do it, then sign up for one. Don’t make excuses. During the marathon, there were the fast runners, who of course I aspired to be, but what I found really inspirational were the people who you would look at and not think they could run the whole distance – people who were much older, people with disabilities, people with many more excuses not to be running a marathon than I had.
Once you’ve made that decision, look online to find a training schedule and stick to it. But do start out slow – runners are prone to injury – you need to build the distance slowly. Then keep your eye on the goal and think positive. If you tell yourself you can do it, it will happen.