Why Do People Run Half Marathons? – I’m not doing it for the shoes!

When one types in a search for “why do people run half marathons?” into Google, they are most likely doing one of two things. One, they are following their marketing professor’s instructions for how to create a good blog post for a digital marketing class OR (more likely) two they are asking themselves the same question I’ve been asking myself lately:

“Why the hell AM I doing this?! Why am I training for a half Marathon, again?”

It’s just 13.1 miles. What’s all the fuss about?

A lot of you are reading this because you’ve heard through the grape vine, or from me directly, that I’m training for my first half marathon. And honestly, the first question most of you have asked me is “why?”

I’m here to tell you what all the fuss is about.  For me, anyway.

Running Shoes

Originally, I set out on this journey to:

  •   Test my physical strength
  •   Test my mental strength
  •   Test my willpower and commitment to a goal
  •   Test my ability to create a new habit and stick with it

The sheer curiosity of if I could or couldn’t do it was the entire reason I started training.

My motivation to keep training?

1. Camaraderie

The number of complete strangers in the global running community who continue to support me, follow me, read my blog, like my sweaty/frizzy haired instagram photos, offer advice, and cheer me on literally leave me in awe most days.  People who I have NEVER met, and NEVER spoken to, are taking the time out of their busy lives to support me in my goal to run this half marathon. If you want to restore your faith in humanity during this crazy time in the world, look no further!

2. Confidence

Sometimes you have to remind yourself what you’re really made of. Your body has to prove to your brain that you are a force to be reckoned with, and that you really can do whatever you set your mind to.

3. Curiosity

The sheer curiosity of if I could or couldn’t do this was the entire reason I started training. And my curiosity is still a main reason why I keep training and keep being motivated to work towards this goal. I guess we’ll find out if curiosity killed the cat in a short 36 days time!

Why Some People Run Half Marathons

Some common results from my quick Google search indicate the following as “reasons why people should run half marathons”.  There are some funny ones, that certainly don’t apply to me.

1. You Have A Thing For Bling

“Many races include all kinds of perks and amenities to draw runners to the starting line. One such amenity is the ubiquitous race medal. The bigger the race, the bigger (and gaudier) the medal you’ll typically receive at the finish line. Medals now double as coasters, bottle openers and more. If you complete more than one half marathon in a particular race series (for example, the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series), it’s likely you’ll get a special medal for your multiple efforts. So, if you’ve got a penchant for the bling, half marathons will hook you up.” (Forsman, n.d.)

Nope, I’m not in it for the bling. I’ll gladly wear a finisher’s medal when I feel like I’ve earned it, but the shiny, heavy circle around my neck is NOT my motivation. Doesn’t the strap end up chafing, anyway?

2. You Like To Party

“As mentioned earlier, the perks and amenities at races today are staggering. Aside from the gaudy ‘bling’ one typically receives, there is almost always some kind of post-race party or celebration. Destination Races sells out all practically all of its wine country-themed events to some degree because of the post-race wine tastings following the race. The anti-oxidants can speed recovery and augment the runner’s high. Live music often accompanies the imbibing of said anti-oxidants. If you like to party, the half marathon may be your distance.” (Forsman, n.d.)

Free Mimosas are great and all, but I’ll go to a bar (or my refrigerator) if I want one. And Yes, I do like to party, but not when I smell like literal ass, have Jell-O legs, and want to crawl into an air-conditioned hole to nap. Unless that’s your idea of a party, and then we may just inherently disagree on this one.

3. You want to burn some extra calories

“A mile generally burns about 100 calories. If you’re currently logging mileage consistent with running 5Ks and/or 10Ks, you’re burning some decent calories.” (Forsman, n.d.)

Nope. I like bacon, and my body the way it is. Thanks, though. Also since starting this training I have gained weight, not lost any. I don’t know if I’m enjoying the carbo-loading too much, or if I’m actually losing fat and gaining muscle. Either way: pass the bacon, please.

4. You want new kicks.

“If you are stepping up from the 5K or 10K distance, logging a few extra miles each week will undoubtedly necessitate the purchasing of an additional pair or shoes or two. So, if you’ve been eyeing the hot new pair of Nikes at your local running specialty store, sign up for a half and pull the trigger as you’ll likely need them soon.” (Forsman, n.d.)

Seriously? New shoes? That’s what is getting some people to feel like they are going to pass out from exhaustion? That’s what is keeping some people on their training schedules when it’s hot, when it’s raining, when you can’t feel your toes, when you’d rather do your damn laundry than go on another run. Shoes? Oh my god, shoes. To each their own but personally, this one doesn’t do it for me.

5. Your wardrobe needs upgrading.

“If you’re going to be logging more miles, that may very well mean you’re running more days per week than you have previously.  These extra days of running will make it easy to rationalize upgrading your running wardrobe.” (Forsman, n.d.)

Nope.  See PSA about shoes written above.

My Current Stats:

  • Motivation for my last training run: staying on track with my recent  progress
  • Length of last training run: 6 miles
  • Song that got me through my last training run: Send My Love (To Your New Lover) by Adelle
  • Longest continuous distance ran (to date): 6 miles

Days to Disneyland Half Marathon: 36

– Lauren N

Read more from the Digital Drinkers 

10 Back Flexibility Stretches15 Stretches for Splits, and Tips for Sharing Your Practice | 5 Secrets to Flexibility Training, and Building a Following | Surviving a Beer Fest    |     Investing In A Home, Part 1      |     The Portland Trail Blazers Brand      |   Training For My First 1/2 Marathon



Forsman, Matt (n.d.). 13.1 Reasons to Run a Half Marathon. Retrieved July 21, 2016, from:http://www.active.com/running/articles/13-1-reasons-to-run-a-half-marathon?page=3