Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to Run a Half-Marathon without Training, Part 2

My wife recently ran a Half-Marathon without one mile of training. It wasn't that she set out to show how this could be done. It was more about a spur of the moment decision to do attempt something she has wanted to do for a while.

This is the second installment of "How to Run a Half-Marathon without Training." I am sharing the components of her story as they unfolded during our weekend trip to Myrtle Beach. If you would like to backtrack to the beginning, here's a link to How to Run a Half-Marathon without Training, Part 1.

5) Encouragement that matters...
When she announced that she was going to run, immediately, the others in the group began to say, "You can do it." I must confess. I wasn't as optimistic. It wasn't that I thought she could not do it. It was simply I did not think anyone could do it. Seriously, how many people just up and decide to run 13.1 miles without any adverse consequences? In years past, I had seen countless runners walking back to the Starting Line after just a few miles of race under their feet. I had seen numerous people receive medical care, even airlifted to hospitals. And these were people who had trained for the race.
I soon recognized Angela's resolve. I also sensed that the encouragement she wanted the most was mine. Keep in mind that just a few hours earlier she had been challenged to create change in her life. Who was I to disrupt that notion? I relinquished my hold to common sense and said, "You should do this and I'm going to do it with you."
 6) You never leave your partner in a fire...
Me and my bride at the Myrtle Beach Half-Marathon 2012
If you saw the movie Fireproof, that phrase should connect.
It was one thing to give Angela a vote of confidence, but the real test was would I run with her or run on my own. It really wasn't much of decision - you never leave your partner. As I processed all that was unfolding before me I decided that when it was all said and done, I would either listen to the story for the rest of my life or I could help write the story. I opted for the latter and ran every step of the way with her. Some in the group pointed out that I was sacrificing all the days and hours of training, but to have the privilege to take every step on this journey with my bride was more valuable than one mile of my training.
7) You need someone who's just one step ahead...
While I'm no coaching legend, I did assume the role of Angela's coach. She had never ran a race before so I had to cover what to eat for dinner, how to pace herself during the race, how to stay hydrated and energized as well as how to keep her legs from locking up. A coach doesn't need to have all of the answers. He or she just needs to be one step ahead of where you are.
8) Preparation is over-rated...
That's a little facetious.  We all know people who have missed opportunities to do something great because they felt they weren't prepared? What happened while they waited? Nothing. Even if they had tried and failed, they would be further ahead than those who had waited. Henry Ford is credited for one of my favorite quotes: "Failure is the opportunity to try again more intelligently."
Angela had not trained at all for this race. She just believed that she could do it especially with the supporting cast she had around her. 
This entire experience has been a huge lesson in our lives. It helped us to learn a lot about our relationship with each other and our individual lives. I am so proud of her for setting her mind to accomplish something and seeing it through. Granted, she walked a little slow for the next few days following the run, but will never regret running for 2 hours and 45 minutes and crossing the Finish Line.

Is there something you've been wanting to do? What are you waiting for? Build you a support team of one or more and begin the process of moving forward. Don't listen to the excuses as to why you shouldn't do it. Seriously. Ignore them and do something that will carry you one step closer to your success.

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