"Running is a lot like life."

I ran my seventh half marathon yesterday. The morning of the race I checked my MilePost app, and this is what I got:

Not exactly the motivational quote I was looking for to get pumped up! I shrugged it off, but throughout the race and after, it really got me thinking. 

My 3rd running anniversary was last week and I thought I had learned all I could learn about life from running. In those 3 years running has taught me discipline, perseverance, and triumph over tribulations. It has taught me to apply those lessons to life's challenges, and how good it feels to push through and come out on the other side.

Now that running and I have been doing our thing for a few years, it's time to come out and say this: the honeymoon is over. Don't get me wrong, we're still happy together, but it's on a new, deeper level now. And I'm finding out that this new phase is bringing with it a whole new set of life lessons. 

• Life is better with a companion pony.
I don't give Ben nearly enough credit for his support on this adventure. He completed the Couch to 5k program with me and honestly, I don't even know if I would have stuck it out without him. He's run a few races with me, and I can count on one hand the number of my races he's missed. He sees me off at the starting line and he's there cheering for me when I finish. He's my companion pony, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

• Anything is possible. But everything is not possible every day. 
I didn't run the race I wanted. I didn't train for a big PR, but I had high hopes I could pull one off just by virtue of the fact that I have done so much distance running the last few months, and I've gotten faster at shorter-than-marathon distances in the process. I was on track held a great pace for the first 2/3, but I couldn't keep it up the rest of the way. But instead of beating myself up over it, I just kept going. I know there's a half marathon PR in me somewhere, it just wasn't in the cards yesterday. 

• I am no better or worse than anyone else. I'm no better or worse than past or future me. I'm just present me, and present me is good enough.
Yesterday I had friends who ran faster races than me, slower races than me, friends who ran their first race and friends who have lost count of their races. And let's not forget all my friends who were still in bed while I was running! My time was faster than some of my previous races and slower than some of my others. None of these people - all versions of myself included - matter. I ran my race, and that is all I could do. That's all any of us can ever do. There is no point in comparing what I did or didn't do to anyone else.

• If you want something bad enough, it's worth the risk.
I started the race at a fairly aggressive pace, something I don't normally do. I knew it was a risk, but I felt like I at least needed to try. I didn't PR, but I'm proud of the race that I ran.

• The little things are actually big things. 
I didn't get the time I wanted - so what? That's a true little thing. But the things I so often overlook or take for granted - things like having friends and family who will stand outside for 2 hours to watch me run by for 5 seconds, or having legs that are capable of carrying me for 13.1 miles, and having a heart and mind that are healthy and willing to keep up - those are the big things. For as hard as I push myself and as much as I obsess over "How am I doing? Am I running fast enough?", I never let myself forget what a gift running is. Seven half marathons and I still teared up when I saw mile marker 13 and realized just how lucky I am to know what a beautiful sight that is.

This race was my last hoorah of my winter/spring racing season. It's been a long, tough 6 months of training and races, but I'm proud of all I've accomplished. As the temps start to warm up, I'll back off on distance running for a while. I have a 10k in 3 weeks and a sprint tri the week after that, and those are the only races on my calendar as of right now. In a way, I'm almost glad I didn't PR yesterday because that made my goals for the fall a little clearer! :)


  1. Congrats on your seventh half marathon! Seven is a number you should definitely be proud of! :)
    Reading your running posts gets me pretty pumped!!

  2. Nice work! I bailed on my first half-marathon on Saturday :) You're awesome and enjoy your summer with a lightened training load!!!

  3. Is that second to last picture a candid shot of you running?! You look amazing! Congrats on your SEVENTH half marathon! Such a huge accomplishment!

  4. Congrats on your 7th!! You've had a long 6 months but accomplished SO much :) I'm sure you already know I agree with this post 10000%!

  5. This is a great!!! post. I loveee your "present me" point. It is something I need to remember more. Congrats on SEVEN. Way to go girl!!!! :)

  6. i love this post! and it's 100% true. be proud that you did this! not many people can say that they ran 7 races :)

    congrats on your race :) it must have been marathon race day everywhere in north america because i've been reading about runners racing yesterday and my SIL/BIL and BFF ran a half yesterday too.

    Vodka and Soda

  7. Wow this is awesome! Good for you!!

  8. What a great post. So inspiring. I am learning a lot from you! =)

  9. You are a freakin' rockstar!! I love reading about your running! Congrats on your 7th 1/2, you crazy girl! ;)

  10. Seventh half?! You're a crazy ;) can't wait to be able to say that!!! :) also loving your life lessons. Running truly has taught me so much about myself.

  11. Love this post! Congrats on your race, even if it wasn't what you wanted PR wise. I've run 7 halfs too! My 4th running anniversary was last month, so I know what you mean about the honeymoon being over :)

  12. Congrats on your 7th!! Love the "anything is possible, just not maybe today" point. So true and so applicable in every part of life! And I totally second that you look amazing while running!!!

  13. love this post as well! and that photo IS pretty badass. my favourite is the part about 'present me'. so true. also now i want that milepost app.