This year my wife and I will run the 2010 ING NYC Marathon. A lot of people ask my why I am running the race and I respond that "it started out as a 'dare' gone awry". Explaining further I tell them that 18 months ago, my wife mentioned she was going to train for the NYC Marathon with her friend. The marathon was something they had talked about completing from their "bucket list". When she first mentioned it, I laughed in a joking way and told her, "I dare you to do it!" I added,"If you do that, I'll HAVE run it too because I'm the athelete in this family!" Since I know that my wife is not a big fan of sports or athletics, I told her that I wished her the best, but I doubted that she'd follow through. I was still unpracticed at being the supportive husband, I guess and I really didn't want to run a marathon at the time :-( ...thankfully, I'm much better nowadays at being supportive by the way.
Shortly after this conversation my wife mentioned to me that she had joined New York Roadrunners (NYRR) and she was registered for her first 5K. "There, I told you", was all she said with a big grin. I couldn't believe she had actually registered and was beginning her first training races!
As I began to digest my wife's goal to notch a marathon run off her life list, I began to reflect further how I really needed to do this too and my competitive streak started to shine through. I was the athlete and she wasn't going to do this without a challenge from me. I was the one who captained high-school sports teams. I had the family history in marathons; my father ran 2 NYC marathons and recorded a very impressive 3hours 20 minutes in one of his runs. My cousin ran the NYC marathon and she broke 3 hours! It was sort of a family tradition to run a marathon. How could I not do this? As I contemplated, I became more inspired about the thought of training for and running for a marathon. At this point, I knew I HAD to run 26.2 miles on November 7, 2010.
About a month later, I too was registered for NYRR and began my first races. I was continually disappointed early on with my progress in race times but slowly ramped up my frequency of running. I began to eat better (less Brother Jimmy's and more actual home cooking) and watch my weight and started strength and distance training. My wife inspired me throughout the process as she ran great times in all of our qualifying races. Her dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to the race really drove me to get through our entry 9 race entry period to qualify for the marathon.
Nearly a full 18 months since my wife mentioned to me that she was going to check this box off her bucket list, the 2010 marathon is here, and I can't thank her enough for this challenge. She is my inspiration. And, I cannot thank my family (marathon runner Dad and Cousin) enough for inspiring me to run too! Even before running the marathon I can say I'm thankful and I'm proud of the benefits running has brought to my life:
Running helps me:
- stay slender by loosing weight and increasing my cardio fitness
- eat better by focusing on eating wholesome, good, natural foods
- reduce stress by taking my mind off negative events and focusing on the positive
- develop relationships and meet new, strong and inspring people - from all walks of life
- sleep better at night because after training; I'm tired
- in my business life by giving me more focus and energy each day to work harder
- be closer to my wife as we work so hard together and spend so many hours training for the big day
- do good and raise money for charity: I've raised over $1,500 for various charities in my runs
- in many other areas in mind and body
For all these things, I'm thankful. For all these reasons, I'm running the ING NYC Marathon 2010.
I'm very much looking forward to my run, meeting more great people and continuing to run for many years after this great event! Thanks to my wonderful wife and to everyone who has supported and inspired me through this past 1.5 years of running.
And, no, I'm not wearing an iPod for the race because I want to hear the streets of NYC roar, and roar they will from the start line at The Varrazano Bridge to the finish at Central Park West + 72nd Street!
#INGNYCM, here we come.
PS - there is still time to donate to my chartity, The Yellowstone Park Foundation. You may do so online at my Crowdrise page here. Jake Matthews' Yellowstone Park Crowdrise Charity Page