Less than seven days till the London Marathon. I just made it through my last Sunday long run. Supportive adverts and road closure warnings are posted everywhere. Shit’s definitely getting real.
I have to admit, I often questioned why the hell I wanted to run 26.2 miles. Or if I even really wanted to. A few times I even pondered the possibility of dropping out of the race. I thought to myself, “What would happen if I just didn’t run the marathon… This isn’t for me. I have nothing to prove. Running is wasting my time. Would my sponsors care if I dropped out? Their money would still go to a good charity, right?”
Luckily, those negative thoughts didn’t persist. That would have been pretty terrible if I dropped out.
As much as I complain about the time commitment of marathon training and as I stress about juggling other priorities, I don’t regret my decision to put myself through this endeavor—suffering and all. So as I enter the final week before the race, I’ve laid out my reasons for running London. I can’t afford anymore worry or discouragement at this point, but if it comes creeping back in, this post will serve as a reminder of what running the London Marathon signifies for me, personally.
Running London is a tribute to the challenge and growth I’ve confronted in my move to this wondrous city. To leaving the comforts of my hometown and breaking free from routine. To escaping the sunshine and prosperity of the Silicon Valley where so many techies aspire to be. To accepting the higher cost of living and lower cost of labor in exchange for the priceless experiences. To ending a near-seven-year relationship that was serially tainted and unfulfilling. To allowing myself the freedom and space to thrive. To convincing myself that I deserve it.
I hate to make it sound like a big deal, because it honestly isn’t. I’ve simply been privileged with the opportunity for a cushy job relocation to another English-speaking country. This is a millennial first-world challenge that pales in comparison to the accomplishments of others. But the reality for me is, I’ve lived in this California bubble all my life, from the increasingly hipster San Francisco to the perfectly superficial Orange County. As much as I loved the people and places in my life, I knew that I wanted something different and, more importantly, that I had the power to make it happen.
So whether or not my reasons are of any significance to anyone else, it’s a personal milestone for me, and damn right I’m going to commemorate it. Moving across the pond has signified a major turning point in my life, bringing me so much inspiration and curiosity every day. London has become such a meaningful city to me, and I intend to make these the best years of my life.
If making these the best years somehow means conquering my first marathon, there’s no better place and time to do it than right here and now. In my quarter-century year. In the city that has broadened my horizons. In one of six World Marathon Majors that millions of people can only hope to gain acceptance each year.
I don’t plan on ever running another full marathon. I honestly don’t wish to put my body through this much physical stress again, nor do I want training to take over my schedule for another four months of training. So I plan to make this event as meaningful as it can possibly be. With all the support I’ve received from friends and family thus far, I’m nearly there. All there is left to do now is relax, enjoy the course, and cross that finish line with pride and gratitude.
And, of course, to gather the last few hundred pounds to reach my fundraising target and bring the joy and therapy of music to hospitals and other care facilities. Eternal thanks to everyone who has helped me get this far in each of my fundraising, training, and personal journeys ❤️