Lessons from my first half-marathon

Yesterday I was one of 31,129 people to finish the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s the largest mini-marathon in the country and was a truly amazing experience. By truly amazing I mean inspiring, sweaty, exhausting, and insane. My main goals were to finish and to run the whole time. Happily I met both of these goals and finished in 2:29:29 which was 15,768 place overall. I’ll take it. Here’s a few life lessons I gleamed throughout this mini-marathon process.

1. Two is better than one

I ran the mini-marathon with my friend Hannah. There is now way I would’ve survived this on my own. Goals are a lot easier with the support of friends. We were able to hold each other accountable for our training and give each other pep talks during the race. I wouldn’t have even signed up for the race if it wasn’t for Hannah and I’m really glad I did. A lot of people only turn to friends when in need and that’s a huge mistake. Friends should push each other to their full potential. That way you have someone to whine to the entire time. One of the most inspiring aspects of the mini-marathon was all of the people running together for good causes. Too often in life are we bringing others down, but at the mini-marathon the course was full of people cheering for human accomplishment. It’s a pretty awesome feeling.

2. You’re never too anything to accomplish your goals

I saw people from all different walks of life running this mini-marathon. Old and young, fat and skinny, pale and tan, male and female, human and extra-terrestrial. So I made up that last one. But really. Stop making lame excuses for not achieving goals. I’m a lazy person with netflix, if I can run a mini-marathon, so can you.

3. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em 

This lesson is courtesy of the thong. Yes, the undergarment. Wedgies while running are the worst. Super awful. I’ll try to avoid going HBO levels of graphic, suffice to say it’s gross. I’ve tried many a pair of underwear (why is it a pair when it’s only one?) to avoid wedgies to no avail. So I gave in to the wedgie and wore a thong. Sorry for the over share, but I’m trying to make the world a better place for women who run and wear underwear. Thongs are the comfy wedgie. Like back massages are sometimes the comfy way of hitting people. Yes, someone is pounding on my back, but it doesn’t fell all that bad. Okay, that might not make a lot of sense. The point is if you can’t change something, make it as bearable as possible. The alternate moral of the story is that thongs aren’t just for seduction. Hello, multi-tasking.

4. Pregaming

Generally pregaming means preparing for a party by partying before the party. That is definitely not what I mean in this instance. Do NOT party before running. You will pay in sweat and tears. What I mean is training. Pregaming just sounds a lot more fun. Pregame life by preparing for events. I’m not sure when it became cool to accomplish tasks with the minimum amount of effort. Goals take effort. All goals. Effort and dedication aren’t a bad thing. If I hadn’t trained for that mini-marathon there is no way I would’ve made it. If only I hade realized this lesson before finals week, my professors probably would’ve appreciated it.

5. I’m sexy and I know it

Music saves lives. Bands and entertainment was present along the whole race route, but I needed my playlist. Specifically engineered for half-marathon motivation, this playlist was a huge motivational help. LMFAO telling me I’m sexy, makes me feel sexy, and makes me want to run. I don’t care if that’s wrong. If loving music is wrong I don’t want to be right. Every once in awhile I need some motivation. I’m pretty sure other people get in similar situations. That’s fine. The world is full of information and other people’s thoughts. I’m sure at least one of those people can inspire you. Find it and use it to your advantage.

6. I can run a half-marathon

This seems rather obvious, but I didn’t believe it until I crossed that finish lining. Sometimes you just have to go for it. Even if I hadn’t finished the half-marathon, I’m still in significantly better shape than before. Sounds like winning to me. Hopefully it’ll inspire me to try new things. If not, at least I prepared for the zombie apocalypse when it comes to cardio.

Go make a goal. Do it. Then brag about it on the internet 🙂

Best Wishes,

Caitlin

P.S. here are my results, it’s kind of fun to see ->my OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon – OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon results

victory

Hannah and I after the mini-marathon. If this picture was scratch and sniff, it would smell like victory and really sweaty people.

Run, run as fast as you can.

You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man. Just kidding. I’m not. But I am training for a half marathon with my friend Hannah. The standard motivations for exercise are health and physical fitness.  These don’t really do it for me. So I made my own list of reasons I run.

List of Reasons to Run

1.If you do it in a real race you rewarded with shiny things. Sometimes a girl needs a little bling.

2. To outrun zombies/psycho killers/stalkers/annoying people/the police?/angry mobs… Whoever or whatever you may need to flee. I’m sure a lot of people in scary movies would’ve survived if they had better cardio (and a higher intellect).

3. To chase hot men/small children you’re babysitting/famous people/dogs that get off their leash/papers that blow away in the wind/people who take unflattering pictures of you/dinosaurs (time travel, duh)/bad guys/Hobbits who get separated from the group.

4. It’s great to be one of those few people who can walk up stairs without panting. Though sometimes I’m sore from walking up stairs after running, I’m not out of breath.

5. If you run at the gym, it’s full of other physically fit people.  Hello hotties in semi-revealing clothing. I’ve also noticed a lot of people at the gym have really sweet tattoos. I’m not sure what the correlation is, but I’m a fan.

6. You feel less guilty about eating that ice cream/chocolate/whatever. I’m going to eat it regardless, but it’s nice to have guilt free snacking.

7. Next time you play pa-diddle* (I think this is an Indiana phenomenon because I never played in Wisconsin), strip poker, or whatever strip inducing game, you’ll look damn fine.

8. Finally I have something to do with the ridiculous amount of giant t-shirts I accumulated during high school. I simply cut off sleeves and trim the bottom and have a perfectly useful running shirt.

9. Showers are so much better after a good workout.

10. Bragging rights. Bragging all the time is obnoxious, but it’s okay to be proud of your accomplishments.

11. When we use up all the oil, you’ll be able to run places faster than everyone else. Or you could get a horse, but I’m not allowed to have pets in my dorm.

12. It’s good conditioning for all day shopping trips.

13. It’s good for your sex life. This legitamite website even says so-> http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676/NSECTIONGROUP=2

and it’s not even because you look so good though that probably helps.

14. Endorphins! They’re all feel good and stuff. I’m a huge fan.

15. I really enjoy making running playlists. Mostly because I fill them with awful rap music and jam out hardcore. That’s a kind of embarrassing sentence, but true.

“Pa-diddle is a game you play while riding in cars. Whenever you see a car driving with a headlight out someone in the car yells pa-diddle and taps the roof. Everyone else follows suit and the last person to do so loses and have to remove a piece of clothing. In Wisconsin we sort of played a similar game, but it was called beer. When you saw a car without a headlight you yelled beer and everyone in the car owed you a beer. What can I say, Wisconsin is classy.