My Fourth Half Marathon: Lessons from the Race
This past Friday I ran my fourth Half Marathon. To play the numbers game, this is after giving birth to my second child and at the age of 30. When I was 20 I started running, but my 20-year-old self would never believe that I could finish (or for that matter start) a Half Marathon.
I am writing this blog post to once again stress that not only can I do it, but anyone can choose a healthy lifestyle and start living that way now. I am always surprised how impressed people are with me for running the race. That’s because I think we are all up for the challenge. I am not saying that everyone can run a Half Marathon. But I tell my friends that they can walk 10 minutes a day, and watch how that can turn into 45 minute strolls in a month. What’s important is to just get yourself out there, instead of doubting yourself and not committing at all.
I will be honest and say that I thought this would be my last Half Marathon. This time around I didn’t enjoy the training as much and my body (after the two kids) just didn’t feel the same. But as I ran kilometer after kilometer (21.2 to be exact), I remembered how much fun a race is. It is incredible to run with thousands of other people and together finish a race, a challenge, a goal that seemed so distant, together.
At the beginning of the race we ran through a tunnel. That’s what’s cool about a Marathon, you run the streets, there are no cars and no traffic lights, or narrow sidewalks to worry about. As we ran through the tunnel, all the runners started to scream. It was awesome. It was freeing. It was loud. I screamed too. My voice blended in with the others and we stepped in stride if only through the darkness for a few hundred meters. And then, as they say, we “saw the light at the end of the tunnel,” and I realized my healthy journey has only yet begun.
Whether or not I run another Half, or 10k, or Full Marathon, or swim, or Zumba, I have made a life choice to be healthy. That is my motivation to get out of bed and workout even on the coldest days, or to encourage my children to do the same. And I hope I can also motivate you to do the same. Challenge yourself with a healthy life choice too.
If you do start running this is a great app.