What I Learned From Running A ½ Marathon:
Updated: Apr 22
By: Grace Ann Polasek
If you are like me running is not necessarily mundane but it is not necessarily jump out of bed and shout for joy exciting, or at least the old me thought so. I started 2019 with a bullet point on my goals list which said “run a ½ marathon,” I chose the Harbor Half in Corpus Christi, TX! ( http://www.harborhalf.com/) While I really enjoyed the idea of crossing the finish line and having people cheer for me after running for hours straight, the ½ marathon was honestly something I was scared of doing. I am going to share the 3 important things I took away from this experience and why in 2020 I am going to run a FULL marathon- I am choosing the Silo District FULL Marathon! #hopeimeetchipandjojo
1. You are stronger than you think you are.
Back in my more youthful days, I considered myself a hard core runner, like I actually enjoyed running. No one was more excited to get up early and train for a competitive event than me. Throwback to those early 2000's cross country days. However, as time went on and I got older and life got busier I enjoyed the idea of trading coveted sleep for a morning workout less and less. I traded tennis shoes for sensible heels and workout shorts for dress pants. When it came time to train for the ½ I knew the only way I was going to be able to cross the finish line and actually achieve my goal without injuring myself was to TRAIN consistently. This word train meant I was going to have to put in time, effort, and physical activity for weeks and months to be able to actually achieve my goal. I did it. #booyah As I began to train I began listening to podcasts, things from financial, to motivational, to comedy to get my mind off the activity of running (Military Wives Unfiltered, Dave Ramsey, and Crime Junkies to name a few of my faves.) As weeks went by I grew to look forward to my Saturday morning runs and when I finished the miles I felt amazing! I goofily would reach and pat myself on the back and tell myself “you go girl,”’ and that is when I realized my body is stronger than my worries and my fears. #revelation
2. Running a marathon race is a personal feat.
I think this was the biggest takeaway for me from the experience as a whole, running a marathon race is a personal feat. I wanted others to be proud of me and tell me how strong I was but in reality, while there are a few, and I mean few outliers of family members, friends, and loved ones who actually are proud of me, NO ONE GIVES A CARE. Your coworkers do not care, your friends aren’t there with you running, your family is proud but unless they have done it they do not understand, and the one to be proud of and proud for is none other than YOU. I actually called my parents and boyfriend and told them to stay home while I ran because I wanted to do it alone (I mean they were not looking forward to waking up at 5 am to watch me anyway and were happy to celebrate with a beer after.) I had this revelation last minute before I went to sleep the night before the race. Nothing feels better crossing the finish line and knowing you and only you and your body got yourself there.
3. Running can be fun.
While running the race and training in weeks leading up to it- I had a lot of time alone with myself and my thoughts. I began to actually enjoy the running and focus less on the idea that I was doing something painful even though my feet and my legs hurt after running, partly my shoes probably (side note get news shoes before committing to something like this.) Sure you might get blisters, sure you might trip on the side of the road and skin your knee, tear a rotator cuff and skin your arms a couple of times (speaking from real experience,) but whether it is running a race or painting a picture for yourself, nothing feels better than self- care. Knowing how important taking care of yourself is and doing activities you enjoy can be is really crucial to making it through this crazy life. #whatareyourhobbies #runningisfun
In conclusion to this wild and exhilarating experience, I have decided I will run a FULL MARATHON in 2020. I have this on my goals list, I have this on my vision board, I will complete this goal. Health and fitness while a personal affair is a good way to ensure heart health and self- confidence! Lace up your shoes and hit the trail, or sidewalk, or beach or treadmill- your goals are just an action away! #goodluckkickbutt
November 2nd, 2019, Harbor Half Marathon, Corpus Christi TX, 2:22:55.