Half marathon: I did it!

runnerI did it! Yes! Three cheers! High-fives! And all that! I completed my first half marathon this month! I also did it in a respectable finishing time and was still able to hike around the park in the afternoon and walk down the stairs at home the next day!

The preparation definitely paid off. For instance, I didn’t question my gear too much because I just went with what I normally wore during training runs. I knew in advance that my running buddy would be going for a personal record and we wouldn’t run together much beyond the first mile, so I added music to my plan. I normally run with others and talk or just listen to nature and my surroundings if I’m by myself. But, let’s be honest here, I was afraid I’d psych myself out if I didn’t have some music for mood management and distraction. So I started listening to the music at about mile 7. I had also been using Reiki and visualization the week prior to the race, which kept me calm and positive. My mantra, “I can,” was always there as was the knowledge that I had completed the mileage already in a training run.

The race itself was wonderful, on a beautiful course along the Illinois River. We were serenaded by frogs at one point, saw several great blue herons, and I even saw a bald eagle riding the significant winds around mile 10.5. The camaraderie on the run was great. It was an out and back and the people who hadn’t made the turn yet cheered on the others. It was inspiring to see the fastest runners speeding by as we trudged through the first part of the race. Then after I made the turn people would call out my name (as it was on my race bib), give high fives or just general cheers. It was great. That must have gotten me through at least 2 miles right there.

Writing about running seems almost to be a cliché in the blogosphere. As there are so many stories out there where people draw parallels between running and other of life’s challenges. Well, it’s all true – in running and in life:

  • set a goal,
  • create a plan,
  • make a commitment,
  • get other people’s help,
  • talk about what you want to accomplish with others who will support you,
  • think positive thoughts,
  • do the things that are on the plan,
  • engage in lots of self-care,
  • do it, and
  • celebrate!

It sounds so simple, right? Does this always work?  No way. Where does it fail? Well in life, things are often not as simple as in running. There are often way more factors involved and more things that are out of your control. However, I think it’s a wonderful place to start and there is a great boost from completing what you set out to do, even if you didn’t save the world in the process. Celebrate the successes, no matter how large or small and for the rest of it: just do it!

Wishing you abundant success in running, life, and whatever your heart desires!