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Why I Decided To Run a Marathon

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

My sister and I have a small tradition of sitting down on December 31 and making a vision board for the upcoming year, with any goals or mindsets we want to achieve. This time, on my 2023 vision board, I decided to set a somewhat wild goal for myself— to run a marathon by the end of the year. To make it very clear, I’m starting from practically no running experience. I danced my whole life, so I’m not totally unathletic, and I sometimes like to casually run. In middle school and early high school, I ran a few 5ks with my dad, but that’s about it. My dad on the other hand is an athlete to his core. He got his degree in physical education, has played probably every sport in existence, and ran both a half and full marathon a few years ago. However, despite this lack of running ability, or even knowledge, I have set my mind to running a marathon myself. But the real question, of course, is why?

For starters, when I came to college, I went from dancing about fifteen hours a week to just two or three now. This was a massive change, and I started to feel like I was wasting away, not doing anything with myself, so I figured that now was the time I needed a goal that would get me active again. I had always liked running, even though I was never great (or even good) at it, so why not finally aspire to this goal that had been sitting in the back of my mind for a while? Yes, running a marathon is a MASSIVE undertaking, especially with such little experience. However, I really don’t think I could motivate myself without it if I’m being honest. Now that I’ve told people about my goal, especially my dad, I feel like I have something to prove. I’m taking baby steps, but hey, at least they’re steps in the right direction!

Another aspect of my marathon goal is the fact that I also needed it for my mental health. As someone who has struggled with disordered eating in the past, exercise has always been a bit of a slippery slope for me, especially when it comes to how you should eat to match the “healthy” mindset of exercising. However, this time around, I’m taking it as an opportunity to really try and improve myself, and my eating habits, in a genuinely positive way. Consistently running has made me feel happier overall, and like I’m actually making good use of my time. In addition, it’s made me more conscious of little changes I can make in my diet, not to restrict but to make me feel better, like replacing soda with water or juice and eating more fruit.

As I said earlier, running a marathon is obviously going to be a massive challenge. But, it’s definitely something to aspire to. Even if I don’t manage to achieve it this year, I can still feel it positively impacting my life, and once I do run those 26.2 miles, I’ll have something tangible to be even more proud of.

Julia Wadolkowski

Holy Cross '26

Hi! I'm Julia, a first-year student studying International Studies and Spanish, and I love anything related to pop culture!!