Harry Potter Helped Me Reach My Marathon Goal

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When I was in elementary school, I remember every kid around me buzzing with excitement about the Harry Potter books. Gryffindor this, Malfoy that, Hagrid who? Why were people so obsessed? Although I was curious, I wasn’t curious enough to pick up the book and read it myself (I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t much of a reader growing up).

Sure, when the movies came out, I went to see all of them. And yes, I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios, and went on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London while studying abroad in college. But I was never what you’d considered a ”die heart” Harry Potter fan because I didn’t read the books. And I was okay with that—although I did always wonder what I was missing out on.

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Fast-forward to this past July when I found out I got into the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon. It was emotional, exhilarating, and frightening all at once to commit the time and money to train for a 26.2-mile run—but I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’d already ran three half marathons at that point, but I couldn’t help wonder how in the world I was going to double that over the next four months. I knew I needed something more than music to keep my training going (a.k.a. not get bored out of my mind) so I did what any other helpless soul would do—I asked my co-worker buds!

Once they got over the fact that I had never read Harry Potter before (you know, the “OH MY GOD did you even have a childhood?!”) someone suggested downloading the Harry Potter audio books narrated by Jim Dale. At first, I was a bit hesitant, wondering how a British man reading a book word-for-word would keep my legs moving. But since I hadn’t found time to sit down and read a good novel in what seemed like forever, I figured I might as well give it a shot.

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