Today was my first half marathon in years.
I went into it thinking I would easily finish in less than 2 hours, but the running gods thought otherwise.
While I was disappointed to not beat my goal time, I was happy to see my running friends and to have experienced the whole thing.
The gift to run is something that not everyone will understand so when you surround yourself with those who do, it is not just supportive, but bonding.
After I texted my sisters back when I noticed their well-wishes for my run today, my twin texted me this in response to my text that I was bummed about my time:
“Don’t be bummed. Celebrate! Why not? You did really good!!! Besides, celebrate your health. You ran for those who could not. I’m proud of you.”
These words of encouragement, the support from the cheering crowds, and just the bad-assness of running are what keep us runners doing this. From obsessing over our form (which mine was off by the way), to appreciating good socks and shoes, and hoping for a good PR, running just does something to us. More than anything, it helps us deal with life and approach it head on.
And while some runners may have a race where they DNF (do not finish), the ones that they do finish, are always an accomplishment that earns you more than just the medal and a shirt.
The combination of relief and excitement that hit you when you see the Finish line with the crowd (we love you and yes you do bring us in!) is something that always keeps you coming back for more; and this is no small feat since we always wonder why do I still do this?-at mile 5, mile 9, at mile 11, and at zero miles when the alarm goes off.
Inspiration is on the course too. You will hear other runners encouraging each other on. Plus, you will read all kinds of signs and shirts with mantras or quotes.
Today, the one that got me through at mile 9 was a lady runner’s shirt that was a quotation from John Bingham (the author of A Beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running):
“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”