Year after year, we revere the third Monday in April, arguably the most sacred and meaningful day for the marathoning community: Boston Marathon Race Day. For over 100 years, Marathon Monday, Patriots Day, has been a day of celebration in the commonwealth—and for those lucky schoolkids and employees, a day off from school and work—but today, on the first-year race anniversary of an atrocious act of violence on our sport’s most hallowed ground, we can proclaim, with a conviction so deep and real that it’s palpable, that today is the most celebrated day in the running universe.
Running. We humans have been doing it as long as we’ve been humans—always running from someone, something, running to save ourselves from becoming some predator’s next meal or, as is more often the case these days, running to prove it to ourselves that we can—and for the most part, it’s this simple thing. One foot in front of the other.
Runners are a funny group of people– funny, in the sense that people will quickly label us crazy, inspiring, driven, motivated, stubborn, type A, and maybe even selfish all in one breath. That’s quite a list, but I honestly think it’s to our advantage that we have all of these, or even some of these, characteristics: and especially when it comes to improving ourselves as runners, on our individual quests to get fitter, faster, and stronger over time.
For many of us, we began running, in general, or marathoning, more specifically, because there was a goal of some sort involved. For some, it’s just to complete the damn race vertically, not horizontally—my run club in Chicago went for the “beer tent, not med tent” at races—and eventually, that “just complete the race” sentiment might change into “compete in the race,” as we runners decide to go after a certain time, a PR (personal record, the fastest time you’ve posted for that distance), a BQ (Boston Qualifier, a marathon time that qualifies you to run one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious marathons), or a particular AG (age group) or OA (overall) placement, relative to the other participants in the race that day.
Running and goals, or goal-setting, go hand-in-hand. While running just for the sake of running can be really invigorating and a good way to hit a mental ‘reset’ button, having a goal is a good way of making sure that you get yourself out there day in and day out, do all the ancillary stuff that is so pivotal to your success, and even be more attentive to the other aspects of your day-to-day existence, like sleep habits and nutrition, that are also […]