and just like that...it's over.
one year of running and 555 miles later, this year of fitness was a journey that will have a positive and [hopefully] lasting effect on my life. it's led to a healthier lifestyle that i've worked hard for, and i don't want to give that up.
training for a marathon is a huge commitment. i made a lot of sacrifices and learned a lot about the sport and about myself along the way.
what i learned about running:
- it truly is an individual sport.
it's great to have a running partner or group to keep you accountable, but there is this competitiveness inside of us that won't be held back. we understand the time and commitment it takes to train for a big race and wouldn't hold anyone back either. my friend and i train together but wish each other a great run on race day and take off at our own paces.
- you have to make it a lifestyle
as with anything else you do, you should be passionate about it. if you make it part of your lifestyle (vs a single goal you are trying to meet), the likelihood of you enjoying it and continuing on with it will be greater.
- there are no excuses.
you don't need someone to run with. you don't need a gym membership. just get out and run. i have a treadmill at home, so i couldn't blame it on the weather either.
- you don't need excessive gear or gadgets
as a new runner, it's easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest especially if you think it'll help you get through a run...the best socks, compression gear, running belts, supplements, tracking devices, etc. in the end, all you need is a great pair of shoes. i used non-running socks [from walmart!], the same top + shorts + hat for every race, a running app on my phone vs an expensive garmin watch that i still want, and shoved all my gels into my sports bra vs a fancy belt.
- flat running isn't always easier.
running is hard on the body, period. but flat running uses the same muscles over and over, and after an extended period of time, your body will feel it. after 10+ miles of flat road running in the marathon, the big hills were a welcomed change for my legs.
what i learned about myself:
- i can do anything i put my mind to.
(seriously, 26.2 miles?)
- i can wake up early.
i'm a night owl. i usually get to bed after midnight and hate waking up in the morning. i hit the snooze button more than i'd like to admit. but with 2am race-day wake up calls, i had to train myself not only to get up early, but to sleep early as well. by the end, i was waking up before my 2am alarm!
- i will go out in public without makeup...
when absolutely necessary.
i'm vain. i admit it. i usually don't leave the house without at least the bare minimum face. but, who'd take me seriously running with false lashes and bright lips?!
- i actually like running.
i used to experience shin splints that made running painful. after finding the right shoes, talking to other runners, and improving my running technique, i no longer get those nasty shin splints. now that i reached my goal for 2014, i still feel like i want to run...which means i must enjoy running, right?
- running is addictive...
i feel like i can do better.
this year was about completion. it was my first year running, so i didn't set any time goals for myself...i just wanted to cross that finish line. with a few races under my belt, i have a starting point from which i can now improve.
(AE shirt; Express denim shorts; love & sunshine bag; SPUN scarf via POPSUGAR Must Have December Box; Nike Air Pegasus (similar))
now that the marathon is over, everyone asks the question...
"would you do it again?"
maybe. running the marathon really wasn't that bad; it's the four month commitment during the busy holiday season that's holding me back at this point. i will definitely continue to do smaller races and even half marathons.
did i reach my goal of runner status?
i think so. i'm not the fastest, i don't have the best form, and i won't be winning medals any time soon, but i've come to enjoy the sport, i love the way i feel after each run, and look forward to the next time i can run...and by those measures, i can say i've reached runner status.
what did you accomplish this year?
do you have any goals for next year?