What Half Marathons Have Done For Me

One of the reasons I’ve done 5 half marathons (21K or 13 miles) in Stockholm, Sweden, is to break away from my normal routine and get out of my comfort zone. In addition, it gives me a challenge to train for and look forward to. During each race, the thrill has always been there and finishing is a beautiful reward.

Despite not having enough 'long run" training for my recent one (September 13), I was ready. I trained very well for a 10K (ran that part in 1:04), and thought maybe I could get away with it and still do a 2:15 or better. I was wrong.

It doesn’t matter what speed you run, a half marathon is a challenge and preparation is crucial if you want a good time. If I had done several 15-18k runs, the race would have been much easier. Thankfully, I ran with friend John Viner, but couldn't keep up with him the last 6k. It was a luxury to have him by my side.

While I was slightly disappointed with my 2:28, I was happy that I felt strong and finishing was never in doubt. I simply ran out of energy, which prevented me from crossing the line with John at 2:20. I felt great the day after though!

If nothing else, maybe my words can serve as inspiration to embrace a new challenge or take a risk away from your comfort.

What would give you a thrill?

Is there a challenge you desire yet never find the time to make happen?

When was that last time you have done something out of the ordinary?

It need not be exercise but can be anything that takes you away from the "sameness" of everyday life. In my opinion, it's one way to keep life bubbling with sizzle and excitement.

I plan to do the same race next year. In 2015, my goal is to get closer to a time of 2:10. As long as I do the proper training, I will hit my target.  I’m looking forward to it.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

At the Finish Line with John Viner

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