Run & learn from the race

13.1

A half marathon is 13.1 miles, and it’s hard to believe I ran one.

Yes, I did. I have always loved running but was I crazy to go this distance? I was never even interested in going beyond a 5K race which is 3.1 miles (takes around 30 minutes). A 5k is easy when compared to a half marathon as it is less than half of a half marathon and didn’t require too much time and training. But a half marathon (13.1 miles) takes two hours plus.

It all started as a challenge, disguised as a dare. It was a huge challenge, and I thought “why not.”
So, I had to train for four whole months, running different mile lengths to build up to the full range of the half marathon. During this training, I learned a lot about running and about me. I learned, “How to run a BETTER race.”

A little patiencegot_patience_square_sticker-rb6c296e3adbe4420b99dee65b290a3c3_v9wf3_8byvr_324

My previous runs had only been 3.1 miles in the past, and I was unfamiliar with running at slower paces. I’d use up most of my energy when I didn’t use the correct speed. I had to decrease my speed to finish my race. Steady. Step by step. Mile after mile I needed a better running pace to run this race. This pattern is real in life. Our “to do” list doesn’t get shorter but longer. We burn out ourselves way too early by trying to make everything as necessary. The journey is just beginning, and we are getting too tired to finish. Rank important things and let go of what isn’t. Remember- pace yourself. Steady. Don’t burn extra energy when it’s not needed.

Heavy-Light3Getting heavy?

When you start the run, you can’t have extra weight everywhere. It will impede your performance and slow your progress. You need only what’s required. Think heavy shoes? Toss them. Heavy shorts and shirts? Think lighter. Anyone can hold a one pound object for five or ten minutes but what happens after two hours? It’s not the weight of the object, it how long you are carrying it. For example, think in reverse with the trunk of your vehicle. Your vehicle could get 30 mpg, but with more weight in your trunk, you might decrease it to 25mpg. If you can do without it and it doesn’t add to your race why should you keep it with you? Let it go. Run without it.

Don’t worry about the extra stuff, just what is necessary for YOUR RUN!
Remember, your race and no one else’s. Family, friends, the spouse can’t run your race, and you can’t run theirs. Your concern should be; pressing onward to how you’re running this race. You are competing only with yourself. Yes, other runners are present. But when your attention gets more on them, then you are trying to run two races and not just your own. Run YOUR race.

The spectators

We have many people are around us. Some of them are encouraging you to run your race while others are just cheering you along. While I was running a 5k, a little gray-haired woman was cheering me on and clapping for me on the last leg of the race. I didn’t know her but what she helped me dig down and pull up more reserve and empower my run even more.
There are people like this lady in our lives. We may not know them at all, but they are encouraging us along the way. Take it! Take all you can! Sometimes encouragement can get rather slim.

Finish line painted on asphalt

For some people, you have little encouragement in your corner, but you still have MUCH to gain.
You could set the bar for generations to come. You could serve as inspiration for the next person waiting for some inspiration, and you could be it for them. The story is always more significant than you can see. Whether you have encouragement, you have your voice. Make it count. Encourage yourself.

Regardless where you are at in life, don’t lose sight of the finish line. It’s the goal that your eyes to be on the prize. Remember this is YOUR race. YOUR finish line. Don’t get tired and stop trying. Don’t stop straining toward what is ahead.

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