I joke I have to pay to participate in a half-marathon because no one could pay me to do it otherwise. I went with some friends from Bryn Mawr, but we were in different flights. Here are some things I learned and thought as I ran through Philly in the 2018 Philly Love Run.
- When your legs get tired, run with your heart. Long-distance running is very mental. The first two miles were so cold, I was thinking, “I can’t do this. I should have trained outside.” The next seven had me thinking, “I can do this.” The following two had me running for my grandmother who can’t run, and my old middle school teacher and coach who recently passed away. The thought of them kept me going.
- It was really neat to see people of all ages, backgrounds, and body sizes running or walking the half marathon. It was empowering and made me keep going when I wanted to stop.
- It’s all about goal-setting. The announcer near the starting line talked about runners from around the world and country, some of whom were trying to run a half-marathon in every state. That’s a new bucket list item of mine.
- Don’t chase the competition, chase the dream: It’s all about making yourself better. Everyone starts at different times even if you’re in the same flight, so when you pass someone or run past, it is unclear who is running faster. Instead, you must focus on yourself and yourself only: you are trying to get your best time.
- Life is a marathon, not a sprint. I paced myself slowly, worried that my legs would suddenly fail me. By the time I realized I had enough energy left in my tank, it was almost too late. I finished the last mile in roughly 9:27, sprinting past runners who had passed me a while ago because I had paced myself. Similarly post-run, I got all-you-can-eat-sushi with some other Bryn Mawr runners. In order to maximize our sushi consumption, we paced ourselves. See? Running is applicable to real-life situations!
I’m still sore from the run, but I’m not sorry I did it: I set a PR (personal record) of 2:30:00, with a fairly consistent time for each mile, hovering around 11:26. I loved seeing parts of Philly I wouldn’t otherwise see (the Strawberry Mansion, one hill in Fairmount Park, and more), and ones I do sometimes see (Boathouse Row, Eakins Oval, the Philadelphia Art Museum, and more). This experience will only make me better and stronger both in school, in work, and in life. I’ll see you on the trails or running paths!