Every time I have a conversation with someone about how my half-marathon went and when I mention that at the time, it was not too hard, the response I get from them is a slight shrug of the shoulders, a look of disbelief and a sentence along the lines of, “I don’t think I could even run one mile, leave alone 13.”
While I understand people not wanting to try a half marathon or any race because running does not hold an appeal, what I sense the most is a feeling of desire. A longing to do that elusive half-marathon or even a 5k. And I tell you it is not that difficult.
I had always wanted to run a half marathon but I never knew where to begin. When I was studying, I was irregular in running so I could not train well enough for a proper run. When I started working, I saw that my evenings were mostly spent watching something on my laptop so I decided to go back to an old love – running. Running once helped me lose 25 kilograms. I used to weigh an impressive 97 kgs.
I decided to buy a good pair of shoes and started running again. But this was still informal running. It was running to keep fit without any real point to it beyond not sitting at home and gaining weight. But come 2012, I wanted to seize the opportunity and run my first half marathon.
Up to that point, I was able to run up to three miles continuously on the treadmill but 13 miles? It seemed impossible. But I downloaded a training plan and started to stick to it.
When you do something often enough, it becomes a habit. Running gives me a real high and so it wasn’t so difficult to start running. What really got me was the ever-increasing distance. The first time I ran 5 miles, I couldn’t wait for it to end. I felt every step and I just wanted to give up and start walking slowly. But I always recalled what Patton said – “Make the mind run the body”.
It’s not about the muscles, it is about the will. Yes it gets hard but surely you can’t want something like this and imagine it would be easy. That rush of adrenaline, that realization that it’s all going to be over in a few more feet, the view of the cheering crowds and that finish line. It’s all worth it. So just get out there and do it.