Since I made the decision back in March to start running and to train to run the Disney World Half Marathon, I have learned quite a bit about running and about myself. Although attending graduate school while working full time and planning a wedding taught me quite a bit about myself and time management, my half marathon training shed renewed light on this as well.
This past week has not only been a week of physical rest before I gear up to start training for half marathon #2, but its also been a week of reflection. As I’ve relaxed my body my mind has been racing thinking about the impact that this experience has had on my entire life.
Training for Disney World taught me so much. I learned (in no particular order):
1. People will think you’re crazy for choosing to run.
2. You can plan and plan and plan but training, just like life, doesn’t always go as planned. You get sick, life and work get busy, and adjustments will have to be made.
3. You have to be extra diligent about training around the holidays, especially when extensive travel is involved.
4. You will be hungry all the time.
5. Just because you’re burning extra calories doesn’t mean you can just eat whatever you want. Junk food will make you feel like crap while wholesome food will give you the added energy you need for training.
6. You can do whatever you put your mind to, no matter how challenging or daunting the task may seem.
7. Even when you’re tired and don’t want to complete your planned mileage for the day, you’ll feel a sense of pride after completion.
8. Running is just as much mental as it is physical. Don’t let your mind get the best of you and talk you out of finishing a run.
9. Running is emotional. After I completed my 13.1 mile run during week 16 I broke down and cried, not because I was in pain (which I was), but because I finished something that a year ago I never imagined I could do.
10. No matter how much pain it puts you through some days, the foam roller is a runner’s best friend.
Running a half marathon proved to be one of the most physically daunting tasks that I’ve ever put my body through. But I’m ready to do it all again. In eight weeks, I’ll take on Rock ‘n’ Roll USA!
QOTD: What lessons have you learned from training?