Marathon Mania

This is part of Take it and Run Thursdays:

There is a difference in how marathoners communicate. In my everyday life I get asked questions such as “How many miles was your marathon?” and “How many marathons are you planning on running?” To which I answer, “This year? I think I’ll do three” and this seems surprising.

But while I was in Boston for the marathon, the questions were much different. It was like a different dialect:
People kept asking, “What’s your goal?” and “What’s your theme?”

What is my goal? What is your goal? What is your theme?

For many runners, completing one marathon is accomplishment enough. I wholeheartedly agree. When I ran my first marathon I was convinced it would be my last. Now, two marathons later, I’m hooked and looking forward to running as many marathons as I can, for as long as it’s fun. Eventually, a repeat marathon runner needs to find a focus and a reason and a logic to how he or she chooses the next marathon and what will be the next goal.

Here are just a few marathon goals I’ve heard lately:

  • Some wonderful guys from L.A. who hope to run a sub 3:10
  • Several inspirational bloggers who want to qualify for Boston
  • My good friends John and Rachel who want to complete their first marathons in June

Marathon Themes or Marathon Challenges: After awhile, it’s not about running a marathon, it’s about collecting marathons, and having an a special reason for running them. Here are some examples of Marathon Themes:

  • The Big Five: Boston, Chicago, London, Berlin and New York
  • The European Tour: Berlin, London, Paris, Rome and Greece
  • The 50 States Marathon Club: Run a marathon in every US state
  • The Rock n’ Roll Marathon Tour: San Diego, Phoenix, San Antonio and Virginia Beach

As I look to the future and for the fall Marathon season I have two goals.

Short Term – I do have a time goal: I hope to break into the 3:35 or below… I think with diligent training, attention to my diet and lots of sleep and LOTS of hills this is acheivable

Long Term – And I have found a theme, thanks to my dad who understands my love for running and my penchant for traveling:

THE PACIFIC RIM TOUR: I want to run a marathon in every state and country that touches the Pacific ocean. I can start local and run races in Washington, Oregon, Canada and Mexico. I can eventually go to Alaska and Hawaii for the Honolulu marathon, and maybe, much later down the line, if I’m still in love with running, I’ll go to Tokyo, Australia, China and Russia (Vladivostok Marathon, anyone?)


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in Boston Marathon, marathon, portland, running. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Marathon Mania

  1. quicksilverrunner says:

    Hi Heather,

    Got to your site in a roundabout way via Bald Runner’s site.

    I’m a member of the Marathon Maniacs. Theme-wise, the only limit is what you can come up with. Mania is really the only requirement. When you get to that point, please come visit the site and see if the group’s identity suits you.

    Good job with your marathons so far, and also great job getting a BQ and going to Boston in such a short time. Are you part of a running group?

    Here is my blog address: . I started out running marathons for fun. My goals are evolving.

    I’ll stop by to say Hi every now and then. Have a great day!


  2. Justin says:

    I think the joy of marathoning is all the different goals and themes. Good luck with both your goal and theme. I’m still trying to figure mine out, but a marathon in every New England state seems about right for now, and sub 2:50 (6:30 mile) then the joy will be wondering “what next?”

  3. merrymishaps says:

    Great goals. Sounds like you will have a lot of scenic races!

    My first (and only, so far) marathon was last year’s Flying Pig Marathon. Friends chose it, I went along … reasoning was because we had heard it was a great, first-timer-friendly race, and because they have “I’ll run a marathon when pigs fly” T-shirts!

    Maybe my theme should be races with funny slogans and/or animal logos? That is, if I run another marathon!

  4. That’s a very creative and great goal. It’s wierd how marathoners tend not to think of a single marathon as an end to itself but as one in a group of marathons. I wish I could fit my marathons into a nice little package, but NY, Hartford, and San Fran doesn’t exactly lend itself to an obvious theme. I’ll keep thinking of one…

  5. Teresa says:

    Interesting! I like your theme. I have never thought of one before, but I tend to run in small marathons with beautiful scenery (St. George, Napa Valley) or local ones (OKC, Route 66 – but for 1/2s). It has to be pretty, so hubby will go along and make it a vacation; or, it has to be local, so I do not have to travel.

  6. alphameg says:

    That’s a great theme! Not sure yet what mine will be – although I am contemplating a London/NYC duet next year if I can get into the lotteries to celebrate my time in London and return to NYC. Otherwise, I think I’ll have to copy Teresa.

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