Two weeks ago I did something that I wasn’t sure I could do, something that six months ago I was actually pretty sure I couldn’t do. I ran a half marathon.

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I really did it because of  several factors that have nothing to do with physical abilities or gumption.

For one, a trusted colleague randomly stopped me in the hall at the end of the school year and asked if I would join her in it. I was finishing my first year teaching and feeling equal parts invincible and insane.

Second, once I paid the fee to enter, there was no way I was going to back out. Ya girl is cheap.

Those factors mixed together with three months of training including a notable moment on vacation when I chose our activity for the afternoon and it was going to the gym so I could run 8 miles.

I’m no pro, but I learned a few lessons from this experience:

1. No One Has Their Sh*t Together

No matter how much fancy tape you have on your legs or how cool your neon running tank is, were all the same. I spent all summer absolutely certain that my running buddy was way more ready than I was and yet when we saw each other on the morning of, she immediately said “I’m so nervous.” No matter how much you train or plan or pretend, we’re all just kids trying not to poop our pants.

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2. There Will Always Be a Wall

On my last long run I hit a wall at 9 miles, in the race it happened at 8. This is where you really learn your power. It’s easy to be strong when you have energy, but the bigger moments happen when you’re burned out and worn down and out choose to keep pushing forward. There is no version of the world without the exhausted, dragging yourself across the finish line moments.

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3. People Can Be Wonderful

The people on the street who cheered for me even though we’d never met and the people in the race who told me to keep pushing, that I could do, they were everything. I generally don’t like people and I like to assume they suck, but in moments of hardship people come through for each other.

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So, what’s the plan now? What’s next? Is there a possible race in December? I DONT KNOW STOP PRESSURING ME. The point is: I ran a half marathon and it was…a thing.

Best of luck.

Lessons from a Half Marathon (1)

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