Good points and good question. I'm not taking on this marathon challenge because my friends have done it or The Biggest Loser contestants did it or I want a shiny medal. I'm doing it because I love to run and I want to see how far I can push myself.
I grew up an overweight child. I was an obese teen and a morbidly obese adult. I never participated in sports. I tried to play in the neighborhood kickball games but was picked last and picked on. I was never good at anything.
When I discovered running following my 150-pound weight loss, I found a passion I never thought I'd have about anything. I love trying to go a little farther, a little faster. I love being outside and feeling the sun on my shoulders. I love that feeling of being covered in sweat and dirt following a long run in the park. While I will never be a competitive runner in the traditional sense, I can be competitive with myself.
I run because I can. And I want to run for as long as I can. If years from now I hurt myself so bad I can never run again, it will suck. But I will never regret running. I cherish what I can do right now because it flies in the face of the naysayers growing up (myself included) who made fun of me and assumed the fat girl was a nobody incapable of running a block, let alone a mile, let alone 26.2 miles.
The wall of my office at home is covered in race bibs and medals and running paraphernalia. If I can run this marathon (and I still say "if" because I know so much can happen between now and Oct. 25), the Marine Corps race bib will go up with the others but won't mean any more than the dozens already on the wall. Each represent a step on this journey of mine, a journey that doesn't end just because I've crossed the finish line.