I started running 20 years ago when I was a senior in high school. (Crap, 20 years old…damn, I’m getting old.) My dad ran. It was something to do with him. As I ran more, I found that I enjoy it. It’s relaxing. It clears the mind. It frees your body of stress.
For years, I ran for exercise, to de-stress, nothing else. Back in 2006, I had a friend who dropped a bunch of weight by working out and had gotten into running races. She told me I should sign up for a half marathon with her. I said, sure, why not. I ran my first one in 2007 and have been hooked. To date, I have ran 8.
Now I know what I’m going to say will should crazy, but running a half marathon is not about the running. Bare with me while I explain this. Of course, you have to run and make sure your body can make it 13.1 miles, but the reality is, most bodies can do it. I have seen and been passed by all body types, young, old, very old, thin, average, and heavy. All people can run and do run.
Once you get the breathing and endurance thing down, it all becomes a mental game. Can you push your mind to keep going? I am living proof. I trained well for the first one and did good. I trained intensely for the next because I wanted a certain time. The last six, I’ve just gone out and done. I didn’t train the way some might have, but none of that mattered. Some were ok, some sucked royally. Some I ran, some I walked/ran. I got up that morning, put on my shoes, started the race, and I finished. And in the end, finishing is finishing.
I think that is why everyone gets medals at races, because it’s a personal battle with yourself. It’s a mental game. If it was just physical, only the winner would win. In a foot race, everyone wins. Because you made a commitment, because you pushed yourself, because you did it….. you win.