About eleven months ago I decided to start focusing on my running to improve my triathlon performance. I started with Robert Ulrey and his Couch to 5k program and then hung out with Hal Higdon to train for a 10k. Finally I joined Team in Training to tackle a Half Marathon.
Yesterday I learned that I can accomplish ANYTHING!!! I ran a half marathon in under three hours, and will improve my time for the next half I do.
I have learned a number of things while training for this half marathon:
1) If you don’t believe you can do it, then you can’t. Running is a mind game; actually everything is a mind game. I’ve learned through this process that you have to believe in yourself to accomplish your goals.
2) Sisters and Brothers are super important to help push you. One of my sisters got me started on these endurance events years ago, my brother provides the realistic support by reminding me I need to do things because I want to do them, and my other sister is always pushing me to do the next difficult thing and not settle.
4) A smile can change your entire attitude. Every time I felt myself slipping into frustration and thinking I can’t do it I would remind myself I can do it and smile. When you smile on a course like that it is incredible how many people want to talk to you to see why/how you are smiling. This picture is of me at mile 9.
5) Strangers ROCK!!! The reason I say this is because at a certain point during the race I had to go to the bathroom SOOOOOOO badly and the port-a-potty lines were outrageous so I just kept running. This guy was sitting in front of his “house” when I asked him if I could use his bathroom. Next thing I know I am in this dude’s house going to the bathroom in the middle of the race.
6) Supportive friends are necessary. First of all my mom and dad are awesome; they encourage me all of the time. Second of all I have the greatest friends who live a couple hours away from me; they come out and participate in these races with me, and encourage me through the training and are there in the end to cheer me across the finish line. Also, a couple of my Columbus friends are always giving me a pat on the back and even running with me or calling me the morning of the race to wish me good luck.
7) Next time I am a spectator at a race I need to find the mile marker that has the fewest spectators and go there with a huge crowd of drunk friends and bang on my chest while yelling emphatically at the crowd, letting them know they are awesome for what they are doing. Seriously, there were frat dudes on the course with their chests painted, and jumping up and down for the runners. They were awesome!
I seriously feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I’m looking forward to my next event. Just to recount what is coming up next:
Race for the Cure
Sprint Tri in July
International distance Tri in August
I challenge you to join me!!!