Running a half marathon is probably one if the biggest mental and physical challenges that I have had to face thus far. It required commitment and relentless dedication, especially when an old injury began to resurface on race day. I wanted to quit but I was 3 miles from home and nothing was going to stop me crossing the finishing line. The fighting spirit that I saw on race day has taught me a lot about myself and what I’ve learned about life on my journey to running my first half.
1) Its ok to fail
Being the competitive runner that I am, I always want to achieve a personal best every time I run. But since training for my first half I’ve realised that winning isn’t everything, but trying your best is. After having a heart to heart with one of my friends about life, she said five words that have changed my outlook on life forever “don’t be afraid of failure”. From a young age, we’re taught to fear failure to the point where it stunts our growth. Sometimes you need to fail at something in order unlock your potential or to realise what’s right and what’s not right for you. I’m no longer afraid of failing and if a run doesn’t pan out how it was supposed to in my head, I don’t beat myself up about it and I feel the same way about my life too. Sometimes a job doesn’t work out or a friendship that was so solid growing up breaks down in your adult years. That’s life, something’s things just don’t work out but always remember to trust the timing of your life. What’s meant to be will happen. Let it happen.
2) Hard work gets the job done
I heard this phrase a long time ago, perhaps it was on a TV show or something that a teacher used to say, but it struck a cord and stuck with me. That and “if you want a job done properly do it yourself”. I can’t think of any aspect in life that doesn’t require hard work in order to get the job done. Whether it’s a half marathon, a company I want to collaborate with for my blog or a personal goal that I want to achieve, hard work is the only thing that can get the job done. Work hard and get it done.
3) Pace yourself
Life isn’t a sprint, it’s more like a half marathon and just like the 13.1 mile race that I did on Sunday, you have to pace yourself through it. Try not to worry if you’re not where you want to be right now, but everyone around you seems to be where they need to be. Remember, you’re not running their race. This is your race. Just keep heading in the right direction and you’ll reach the finish line. Yes, sometimes it’s good to pick up the pace and get the ball rolling but know when to ease off too. The key to crossing that finish line is to never stop moving forward. Keep moving forward.
4) Support is everything
My ankle had gone by the time I’d reach mile 9 or 10 and every step was more painful than the last. The thought of giving up crossed my mind but then I heard a fellow Nike runner call out from behind “don’t worry Tashi, I’ve got your back”. His kind words were everything that I needed to take one more stride. And another and another, until I crossed the finish line. I didn’t even know that a NRC runner was behind me and he probably didn’t even know how much I needed to hear his words. That’s why it’s important to be kind to everyone you meet. You’ll never really know the power of your words or the depth of your love. Your words could be everything someone needs to cross their own personal finish line. Be kind.
On Sunday I’ll be taking on the Amsterdam half marathon, which will be my last race of the year but everything that I’ve learned over the past few months of training will stay with me beyond the finish line. This 13.1 mile journey has helped to rebuild my character. It’s given me bull like determination, and helped to give me a sense of focus.