On the train on my way home last night I started reading The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life by Amby Burfoot (winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon and Executive Editor of Runner’s World magazine) and I was immediately struck by a chapter called “Starting Lines”.
Since I began running and started writing this blog a lot of people have told me that they too would love to start running or training for a race and here’s what I have to say to that – YOU SHOULD!
I will also say that it IS going to be hard and it IS going to be scary – but you should do it anyways!
One of the worst things that anyone said to me when I first started training a few months ago was, “a half marathon is easy, anyone can do it.” I know they meant well and were just trying to be encouraging, but all it made me think was, “wow, if they think running a half marathon is easy and I think running to the end of the block is hard then I’m really screwed!”
I brushed off the comment and kept going and I am so glad that I did.
In “The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Live”, Burfoot writes “Until you begin a new venture, you never know what awaits you.”
How true! When I decided to starting running and train for a half marathon a few months ago, I really had no idea what awaited me. Going into it I thought I would train to run, raise some money (see why I started running here), hopefully finish the race and be done with it. Along the way though so many other things happened. While I can’t say that I LOVE actually running, I do enjoy it more than I ever thought that I would. I like learning about a new sport and what it takes to run long distance and I like the “me” time it carves out in my day. I like the challenge of working towards a goal that I never thought possible and I like the running “community” I feel like I’m a part of.
At the risk of sounding totally cheesy (and I’m willing to take that risk…) running really has changed my life! I have said for years that I thought it would be amazing to run a marathon, but never once did I get out sneakers and go for a run – honestly, what the heck took me so long!
Getting starting was the hardest part, but as Burfoot says, “Remember that if you don’t go to the starting line, you will never view the whole course with all its possibilities. And you will certainly never see the glories of the finish line.”
The best part about my experience running is that I feel like it really has encouraged me to try and do other new things I’ve wanted to do (see my goals list here) because heck, if I can train to run a marathon I’m pretty sure I can do anything I want to!
QUOTE TO THINK ABOUT TODAY:
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
I love the Disney quote…. as Nike puts it “JUST DO IT”!
“While I can’t say that I LOVE actually running, I do enjoy it more than I ever thought that I would. I like learning about a new sport and what it takes to run long distance and I like the “me” time it carves out in my day. I like the challenge of working towards a goal that I never thought possible and I like the running “community” I feel like I’m a part of. ”
That right there seriously is the exact reason why I love running so much. I really think that if it weren’t for the huge running community I’m now a part of, of all the friends I’ve made along the way, etc….I would never be still doing this. Running can be either a solo sport or a ‘group’ sport and I honestly think it would be way too boring to keep it a ‘solo’ sport. Seeing familiar faces at races and talking about all the details in between races makes it that much more enjoyable.
Exactly! Can’t wait to see everyone in January (if not before then)!
You say it so well! Couldn’t have said it better myself! I have a few questions for you. Do you like the strap on water belt? I hate to carry anything but eventually I will need to carry water when I do longer runs.
Hi Pam, I actually really like the Nathan’s running belt I am using right now for my long runs – the velcro closure makes it easy to adjust if I need to move it at all while I’m running and two water bottles and the small pouch seem to be just enough room. I actually tried a belt from iFitness and I was never able to get it comfortable.
For shorter runs (up to about 6 miles) I use a handheld water bottle that I really like.
It’s all really personal preference so I’d try to go to a running store and try some on and see what is comfortable for you – hope that helps some!
Thanks for the info! So what are your plans between now and the race to prepare? I think I am going to sign up for a half marathon in Cheshire, CT for April.
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