This past weekend I completed my latest half marathon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This was my seventh half marathon I have completed. And this was by far my favorite race day experience, even though I didn’t have a personal best in terms of time of completion. I did however, have a personal best in terms of enjoying the race experience. Normally on race day, I am a ball of nerves and when the gun goes off I am in overdrive, pushing myself to keep my pace or better. But during my training and on race day, I decided that my time to complete didn’t matter, that I was going to enjoy the experience, and guess what– I did.
I ran the Pittsburgh half with my training partner and pal Heather, and together we kept each other going and laughing through this difficult and hilly 13.1 mile race. We high-fived every bystander who was willing. We gave thumbs up signals to the inspiring signs along the route. We clapped and danced as we ran by various live bands along the 13.1 miles. And we took in the beauty of Pittsburgh–its neighborhoods, bridges, rivers and people. And best of all, when the crowds were sparse or when the hill seemed too steep to climb, we encouraged each other to keep going. We kept saying to each other “we got this!” and “run now, beer later!” (which we did!)
Running has taught me mindfulness and thankfulness. I do all of my training runs outside, usually on trails, and I have made an effort to observe what is around me on these training runs. I feel the wind, I see the leaves budding, I smell the honeysuckle blooming and I am thankful for this time outside. As difficult as running is, I am grateful that I have the physical and mental ability to push through and keep running. I encourage you to start a workout routine too.
For further reading, I wrote an article for the Pittsburgh Moms Blog as to how running has made me a better mom, click here to read the link.