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Clinging on to fitness goals: why I've taken 'run a marathon' off my bucket list.

Running a marathon has been on my 'bucket list' for a long time but only this week did I realise that I've absolutely no desire to run a marathon. With Autumn being marathon season, my social media has been full of race-day buzz. It reminded me of when I was a 'proper runner'. I would do my long runs, my short runs, my hill sessions, my sprint sessions. One day, I vowed, I would train for and run a marathon. But I didn't. My life changed and my capacity changed and - more crucially - the things I enjoy doing as my exercise changed. But, despite that, the marathon goal stuck. So, this week, reflecting on the fact I still haven't done it, I felt a pang of...guilt. I should have done that by now. I should make a point of doing that within the next year, I told myself. Now, I've learned enough about myself over the past few years to question when things are driven by "should", so I asked myself why running a marathon remains a goal. Here is what I was able to come up with:

Because part of me feels like I am letting old me down by not running a marathon.

Because two of my sisters and many of my friends have run a marathon, and I feel like I ought to, too.

Because lots of people seem to regard running a marathon as a worthy goal.

That's it. Look, these are not good reasons to want run a fucking marathon. I don't actually want to train for and run 26.2 miles, I just feel like I should.

Have I fallen out of love with running? No. I enjoy it, still. But what I really enjoy nowadays and in this season of my life is an occasional 5km-ish. Sometimes I run quickly, sometimes I run slowly, but mainly I run as a means to get out by myself and to clear my head. And when I don't fancy a run, a walk serves me just as well. I am in a happy position where I can take it or leave it - words I never thought I would type! So, running a marathon is finally off my bucket list. I applaud all the marathon runners; your dedication, determination and endurance. I will like your photos and cheer you on in complete awe. But I am at ease now in saying "That is not for me." Tell me: are you clinging onto goals which no longer serve you, or are driven by 'should'? Or have you done this in the past.

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