My Marathon Experience
Me before the race.
Running the marathon, especially the bigger races, is an exhilarating experience I think everyone should have. The months of training, dietary restrictions and feeling of anxiety are amongst the joys of marathon which cannot be compared to anything else.
Stockholm is a beautiful city and is one of the cleanest places in Europe with one of the cleanest waters in the world. Although the city itself is not very big, and you can walk to most places, the organizers did an amazing job of setting up a very unique course which starts in the city and goes through different parts such as the scenic area of Lindaragsvagen. In this marathon, you basically run the city twice and end the race in the 1912 stadium.
One of the most important aspects of running and finishing a marathon is having a strong mental capacity. Yes, getting used to hours of running, becoming strong enough to tolerate the constant pounding, and converting food into fuel is important, but not having a strong mind, will lead to disaster. You need to self-talk, and do it constantly and do it positively in order to finish. One moment of hesitation, a second of self-doubt will make you stop, and if you do stop, it will be the most difficult thing to start again.
And do yourself a favor, next time you run in a group, ditch the headphones and listen to the sound of feet pounding the ground, listening to the determination of thousands of runners running together. Listen to the sound of their feet where the only goal is facing the challenge itself. That sound is inspirational and the best music you can ever listen to.