Life Lessons From Running a Marathon

I ran a marathon today. It was a bit painful near the end because I didn’t really train too hard for it. My longest long run was only 13.1 miles. I knew I had to have some luck on my side to finish strong, but it wasn’t my luckiest of days…

Lessons Learned:

1. Luck isn’t always on your side – Don’t count on it in any equation. Let it be the icing on the cake if it shows up.

2.Most good things require investments of time and effort – I didn’t put much of either into this marathon. I had a baseline of running practice (2-10 miles a couple days a week), but it wasn’t enough.

3. Camaraderie can carry you far. – I had a friend who was a pacer for the marathon. We had a pretty good group going for most of the race. We joked together, shared some stories, and overall had a pretty good time. It made the race very enjoyable.

4. You can go further then you realize – Most people sell themselves a bit too short. The human body and mind are both more powerful than most people realize. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a real challenge every now and then.

5. Pain always has something to teach you – A lot of people tend to ignore pain, whether it is physical, emotional, mental, or social. Pain tends to get ignored for far too long. On the flip side, pain also tends to make people give up way sooner than they should. The key is to be smart about pain, and what it is trying to tell you. There is a lot of wisdom to be found in pain.

I used this race as a way to hang out with a friend, to get back into marathon distance running, and to see whether I would still want to compete in an ultra marathon (30-100 miles), or just stick with the 10k’s (6.2 miles) I am used to.

My body is telling me running an ultra is a bad idea, but my mind is telling me it is still worth a shot. Only time will tell. Rest assured, I will be taking some of my own advice next time around…