13.1 miles. In May I completed my big 2013 goal of running a half-marathon. It’s hard to believe it’s already over. I guess because I’m still training, but for my a second half-marathon for the year. The running bug bit me.
I trained for months and months so I could wake up at 3:55am, eat, dress, drive 15 minutes north of my house, only to park, and board a charter bus to ride up a canyon. All this so I could run down that very same canyon, then down a path that runs along a river, and into town where my family was waiting to watch me cross the finish line.
It was one of the coolest things I’ve done. I’ve found that sometimes the most amazing experiences take the longest time, most preparation and dedication to get to. Nine months of pregnancy and preparation led to the births of beautiful baby girls. Years of home improvement and saving money led us to buying our current home and we couldn’t be happier. Years and years of school led to a degree. Months of diligent training led to running 13.1 miles and an amazing feeling of power.
I learned a few things along the way, things like Run Your Own Race, and reward yourself for a job well done, and a bad run is better than no run, but I also learned a few things in my first big race. Okay really, I learned a lot in my first big race but I’m sharing a few with you today.
#1 Do not put songs in your place list that remind you of your husband, or children. Unless of course you are positive you will not feel the urge to cry because “you love them so much and they have supported you so much and “ohmygoshI’mtheluckiestwomanontheplanet.” I might speak from experience when I say nearly crying when your are already short of breath is not comfortable.
#2 If you can, try to have at least one person to cheer you on somewhere along the race course. It was motivating to know Luke and the girls were waiting for me at the finish line, but hearing a friend shout my name and cheer me on along the course was a fantastic boost.
#3 Smile and smile a lot. Remember, it’s fun and that smile will help keep the challenge feeling fun. It will trick your brain into thinking things are a blast instead of very difficult. And it is fun, so isn’t that convenient?
#4 Do not forget to do some sort of stretching after the race. Even if you are ridiculously hungry and thirsty it might be a better choice to stretch a bit before sitting down for your huge post -race meal. You’re welcome for that bit of learned knowledge.
If you’re thinking about running a half marathon I’ve shared some great tips to get you started over on the Right Start Blog. Running a half marathon is a challenge you can handle and the feeling you’ll get after conquering 13.1 miles is amazing. Trust me.