4 Lessons I Learned Preparing for a Half Marathon
Embrace difficult things not only to overcome them, but because they draw greatness out of you.
This Saturday, I'm doing something I really do not want to do. I'm doing something that I'm pretty sure I'm not going to enjoy. I'm doing something mainly because it's difficult. I'm going to pay money to run 13 miles...something I could (but wouldn't) do for free at home. I don't think of myself as narcissistic, but as I look towards the race this saturday, I'm having my doubts.
For some reason, I've signed up to do a half marathon. I've read articles, ran countless miles and even watched youtube videos on running techniques. Before this, I didn't even realize that was actually a thing.
As I've prepared for the race, here are some lessons that I've learned that apply to my non-running life (which is 99.9% of the time).
1) Race day is too late to prepare.
The time to train for the race is the months beforehand. If the first time I feel the strain of that distance is race day, I'm doomed to failure and probably pain. Lots of pain.
2) Go for consistency before adding complexity.
There are a lot of fancy training techniques with running. Cadence, speedwork, breathing patterns, arm posture, technical clothing and yes, there is an app for that. There are hundreds of apps for that. Do you know what I've discovered though? A mile actually ran is far better than 10 youtube videos watched and 5 apps downloaded.
3) You never regret doing the hard stuff.
I catch myself saying this more and more lately, but
"Do what you'll be glad you did. Don't do what you'll wish you hadn't."
4) Community keeps it fun, reminds you of why you are doing it, and takes your mind off of the pain.
Running by myself especially without music leaves my ears focused on my heavy breathing, my eyes focused on the LONG road ahead, and my mind thinking about quitting earlier than I originally intended. So it is with life alone. Hard times will come. Community makes it better.
So what are areas of your life that are difficult? Tough boss? Financial strain? Relationship stress? Lean into them. Learn from them. Allow them to develop you, strengthen you, and pull the creative and resourceful side out of you.
Remember that great men and women are rarely the result of comfort. Many common, forgettable lives walk that road.