Friday, May 4, 2012

Marathons are Like Weddings

NYC-Marathon-WeddingIn a couple of weeks, I’ll be running in my 8th marathon at the Rite Aid Cleveland MarathonCrazy thought… marathons are like weddings in so many ways.  There is so much excitement for that big day, so much anxiety, so much second guessing, and yet, in both situations, we know it’s the right thing to do!

A wedding and a marathon are both very special events.  They pronounce to the world the love that you have for another… in the marathon case – it’s the love of running!  So, what’s so darn similar???

Wedding Planner – For a successful marathon, you really need a Wedding Planner to assist you… oh wait, I mean Running Coach.  The Running Coach is going to encourage you, coach you, and help you plan your training and race strategy.  They will push you to new heights that you didn’t think possible. 

Planning – You and the Wedding Planner (Running Coach) will do a lot of planning for your training and the week of/day of the big event.  You should have a thoroughly planned out training schedule to follow.  However, knowing that if you miss an occasional workout that you don’t need to cancel the race.

Wedding Party – Every wedding and race needs a Wedding Party.  Your Wedding Party is your local running club.  In my case, I run with with Frisco Running Club.  It’s an awesome group headed up by my Wedding Planner, Hamlin Jones.  Your running club is there to support you along your common goal of the big race.  There is so much encouragement through these groups, that it’s totally crazy.  For example, when I was having problems getting down that proverbial aisle during the challenging 2011 White Rock Marathon, Susan from the FRC, was my angel and helped me along.

As you run more and more races and training events, your Wedding Party will grow.  I’ve got so many great frunners from meeting people at races, Twitter, FaceBook, and DailyMile.  What are frunners?  This cool term was coined by Corina which means a running friend.  Corina was my original Twitter running friend.  This girl is so inspiring that I look darn right lethargic!

95057290Best Man – My Best Man is Felix!  He has been part of my running life since I started training for my first marathon.  Even though I run primarily with the Frisco Running Club, Felix and I will meet up almost weekly to run hills or race together.  We usually meet the day before a bigger race for the race expo and some lunch.  He’s a great friend that I would have never had the pleasure of meeting if I didn’t take up running.  I thank God for our relationship!

Commitment – Nothing takes more commitment than running a marathon! OK, OK, OK… weddings and more importantly marriages take more commitment.  With that said, there is an inordinate amount of commitment that’s needed to make sure that you get to that start line and then of course the finish line.  You have to make daily healthy choices that will prepare you for that big day.

Get Dressed Up – In all of my marathons, I’ve spoiled myself with a new shirt.  Psssttt… please don’t tell my wife.  She thinks that I have enough running shirts already!  Getting a new running shirt just makes the big race that much more special!  I don’t wear the race or any other race shirts during the race.  I’m in the now for this race!  Really, I don’t get to wear tails, I mean, compression socks everyday!  Enjoy dressing the part and being a part of it!

Photographer – Besides your family photos, there will definitely be several race photographers out there to capture the big moment.  One thing that my running sister taught me was to be ready for these crazy photogs!  Be ready with a smile and look like you own the race even if you feel like dog dirt!  Just like the wedding photographer, the race photographer will provide you with proofs to choose from to purchase.  I wish that the race pictures were priced a bit cheaper as I would definitely purchase more.

Expect that things will go wrong – Yes, things will go wrong or not as you expected on the big day.  Crappy weather, not enough GU, running late, numerous potty breaks, you name it… something will probably go wrong.  It’s easier to say and harder to do, but accept it and move on.  You’ve trained for this day and you will survive a majority of these little irritants or setbacks.

Enjoy the experience!  Count it all Joy!  One of my favorite scriptures is James 1:2 as it talks about counting it all joy as you face trials.  Enjoy the entire marathon experience!  Just like in a wedding ceremony there will be so many emotions.  Enjoy every single emotion that’s going to happen.  By the time that I’m done with a marathon, I’m physically and emotionally drained!  There are so many raw thoughts and emotions during that race, that it’s just beyond explanation.  I’m usually an emotional wreck by the time that I’m done.  This is displayed by the video below…

Unlike weddings where you really only get one shot to experience this once in a life time event, marathons allow the opportunity to create these experiences again and again.  The fun thing is that the experience is the same, but entirely different.  I will continue to run as along as my desire remains high to Enjoy the Experience!

The Ring/Medal – The wedding ring symbolizes the unity between the bride and groom.  The Finisher’s Medal symbolizes the completion of the race.  It’s the icing on top of the cake for the race experience.

The Reception – After my ritual ice bath and resting, I like to go to a restaurant and celebrate that evening.  One of my favorite places locally is Babe’s Chicken in Frisco.  Talk about a Yumathon!

What are some similarities that I missed?  How does it remind you of a Wedding Day?


Weddings by Lindsy said...

What a great article Mark!
As a wedding planner myself, I appreciate the value you placed on having a wedding coach, er, ah, planner :)

Good luck on your 8th, what an inspiration!

Mark said...

Thanks Lindsy! You've got a crazy cool job as a Wedding Planner! That's got to be rewarding and challenging all at the same time... just like a marathon. :)

Mama C said...

You rock my face off!! Love the analogy! I'm so excited for your next Big Day!!

Emily said...

Ditto! What a great analogy!! Good luck at Cleveland! I'll be running as well.

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