First Half Marathon Completed…Lessons Learned

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I completed my first half marathon this weekend and today I am feeling the effects.  Through completing this obstacle, I think that I can check it off the bucket list.  The verdict is still out on whether or not, I will take on another half or anything like this again.  It just didn’t fit into something that I truly enjoyed.  (Although I did enjoy getting caught up on some podcasts during the run).

That brings me to the first lesson that I learned:

  • Try new things including things not in your wheelhouse.  You have to.  They are a part of fitness.   If you want to be well rounded you need to challenge yourself in areas that are not the most fun to you.  Then if you try it and don’t like it, then you can move away from it.  But everything deserves to be tested and tried.  Who knows, you might actually learn that you like something you never thought you would.
  • Motivation is key. During this half marathon, you could not go less than 100 yards without someone cheering you on.  There were kids wanting high-fives and people coming out of their houses to cheer you on.  It made you not want to stop jogging.  You just wanted to keep going.
  • Don’t focus on how far away the finish line is.  There was a point in the run when I wanted to think about how far away the finish line was.  I saw a mother slow up to talk to her daughter who was struggling to keep up.  The mother told her, “we got this”.  The daughter  told the mother to keep going because “I am holding you up”.  I realized that I needed to change my focus in their exchange.  I didn’t need to worry about the finish line, but rather focus on the next step.  I just had to keep taking one more step and the rest will take care of itself.
  • It’s more mental than physical.  The truth of the matter is that your body is going to hurt at times.  You are going to feel pain and a lot of things physically but so much of this and what we do in our daily life is mental.  We must choose to not stop and not quit.  We just have to fight through the aches and pains.  (Don’t confuse aches and pains with injuries…stop when injuries happen).
  • Some people will be better than you.  Face it.  There is someone out there that is better than you are.  I watched a man finish his 26 miles before I finished my 13.  But the kicker is, I have no desire to be a great marathon runner.  I just want to be fit.
  • Realize what your reward is.  You define success.  No one else.  Crossing the finish line was all that I needed to be happy.  For others they were qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  You define what is going to make you happy day in and day out!

And with all things in life the biggest lesson that we have to accept is….wait for it…

It’s a marathon not a sprint! 

You knew that was coming!