Life Lessons Learned through Half Marathon Training

Here are the life lessons I have learned by training for a half marathon.  (*Disclaimer: You do NOT have to be a runner to benefit from reading this post!)

You have to run the 13 before you run the .1 – I am a very impatient person.  Part of me would love to tell you that I found a short cut on how to run mile 12 without running miles 1 through 11, but unfortunately, I haven’t found the secret yet.  So, instead, I have started to become comfortable with having to run each mile, in succession, every time.  It reminds me of how most of the time in life, I am ignoring all of the amazing things around me or getting frustrated with not being “far enough” along.  Training reminds me to be present in each moment.

Your body is its own expert so listen to what it is telling you!  A few weeks ago, I got a sinus infection but my training schedule said that I was supposed to be up to a certain mileage so I went ahead and ran despite my illness.  You should have seen the 8 miles worth of shenanigans I tried to pull off in 90 degree heat that weekend.  (In fact, if you saw a girl with a purple tank top running on Franklin Street with a bright red face and a look of exasperation then you probably DID see me!)  After that run, I allowed myself to take a full week off from training while I got well again.  It felt great to rest and, to my surprise, I’ve been able to cut my time by almost a full minute per mile since I’ve been back.

4 miles ≠ 4 miles 4 miles 4 miles.  Now that I’ve covered over 10 miles on my long runs, I feel like my body should just automatically be able to run 4 miles without sweating or breathing hard or even having to go outside and actually run at all.  But, I’ve discovered, that running 3 or 4 miles is still a huge feat even if you’ve ran farther than that before.  I ran 3 miles straight for the first time at a 12 minute per mile pace a few days before I started training with a running group and I was really proud of myself!  Until I got there the first day and they said “We’re ONLY going to run 3 miles, and don’t worry, we have 9, 10, 11, and 12 minute groups” which to me meant “Don’t worry, the easiest thing available for you to do here today with us is the hardest thing you’ve ever done.”  I’m here today to tell you that anything is better than nothing and anything you’ve never done (or thought you could never do!) is absolutely amazing.

Because she’s my favorite and has helped me so many times along this journey, I will leave you (again) with some inspiration from my friend Dory…

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