Lessons from Half Marathon Training

Since this blog’s titled EnduRANce, I thought I’d actually write a post about running. I’ve been training since June for the Nationwide Children’s Columbus 1/2 Marathon in October. I train with an amazing group of friends and runners every Thursday evening and Saturday morning who are also fundraising for my current place of work: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. 

Here are a few things I’ve learned on my training journey:

1. Running allows for deep thought. 

Most people run and listen to music or run and talk to someone. I usually run and listen to the same 11 songs that are currently on my iPhone over and over again. However, sometimes it’s nice to leave your iPod, texting conversations, favorite music, the world, etc. behind for a bit and spend some time thinking about your life. I’ve done some of my deepest, reflective thinking during my long runs. This past weekend I ran my longest mileage yet, 11 miles, with nothing on me besides my car key. It actually felt pretty amazing to run with me, my thoughts and nature. Try it sometime!

2. The human body is an incredible machine. 

God has blessed the human race with an incredible body. One that can run miles upon miles, endure military bootcamp, push itself past physical limits, recover from a serious illness or injury or sit on the couch and eat chips all day. Training for my half marathon has exposed me to runner’s incredible stories of perseverance like running 100 miles in 42 hours. That’s insane! When I participate in races, even 5k’s, I often get emotional watching so many human bodies fight to keep going. I don’t know what it is but it just gives me the chills and makes me feel so strong and thankful for the body I have! We have a choice to take care of our bodies or slowly destroy them. Taking care of them leads to greater blessings!

3. Running is a great way to see new places.

As dreadful as a run on vacation sounds, it’s a great way to see a new place! I not only ran around a beautiful lake in Cadillac, Michigan during a family vacation but I also have done my fair share of sightseeing in Columbus on my own two feet! I take every chance I can get to run somewhere instead of drive. It’s much cheaper and better for you. Plus, nothing beats discovering a new place on foot. Maybe even take time to stop and smell the roses! 

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4. Training for a half marathon means eating dessert guilt free.

Who doesn’t love a rich and decadent dessert every once in a while? I have a major sweet tooth and I don’t feel as bad about that considering I just got done running 10 or so miles. It might catch up with me in 20 years but for now, I feel okay about indulging in an ice cream sundae or this incredible Mexican brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (pictured below) on occasion. 

 

 

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5. Training can lend itself to new friendships

Through my involvement in a training and fundraising team, I’ve not only been able to run for a cause greater than myself, I’ve also been able to meet new people and develop new friendships. What’s better than making new friends while getting fit? It’s pretty easy to make friends with a runner because you instantly have something in common. Plus, running’s usually better with a friend to keep you motivated!

That’s about it for now! I could go on but I don’t want to bore my readers and I’m ready to bed. Running all the time makes me tired!