21 Lessons from my Half Marathon

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21-Lessons

Some say that for runners, some of the more poignant, simple but reflective lessons you will ever learn come to light on the road or trail. I tend to agree. There is nothing like testing your bodies limits to bring about new levels of consciousness.

The quest for a healthier lifestyle saw me tackle my first 21-kilometre half marathon last year. And I learned some valuable lessons along the way. Here is one thing for every kilometer traveled that day on my quest to conquer the previously unachievable.

  1. You’ll really comes to regret those cheeky Friday night cigarettes. Not to even mention those dirty 7/11 sausage rolls for that matter. Yep, carry those suckers 21 + kms. They never were ‘worth it.’
  2. Never judge sporting agility, ability or prowess by outfit. Appearance doesn’t always stack up in your mind your non-fashionista Sista. Mark my words that lady running with her handbag will finish a full marathon before you complete your half.
  3. The REAL benefit of being a tail ender on this course is no need to line up for the on-track port-a-loos.
  4. I read it on a fellow competitor’s t-shirt and thought I’d sneak it in here, “Real Australians welcome refugees!!”
  5. When you are a back of the pack shuffler your only real competition in a major metropolitan marathon are the street sweepers.
  6. You can think or even talk about a single can of coca cola for the better part of 45 minutes and not get sick of the banter.
  7. What the hell have I gotten myself into? This is going to take sheer grit and determination and undertaking this mission is probably a strong indicator of insanity on my behalf.
  8. Lust wins! You could literally make out with the unsuspecting citizen giving out jelly beans and snakes.
  9. There is pain. There are blisters. And then there is losing your entire heel skin in a sheet.
  10. Just like in Anne of Green Gables,” cheaters never prosper!” I see you paused Garmin and raise you one girl tramming it down Melbourne’s iconic St. Kilda Rd (later listed by AIMS and the powers that be as did not finish).
  11. Finishing the race twenty kilograms overweight IS possible. Perhaps not recommended or advised. And certainly not comfortable but nonetheless possible.
  12. A half marathon is four and a bit 5km parkruns… in a row. You really didn’t think this through, did you?
  13. You’d be surprised how grateful you can be for a sympathetic smile.
  14. The comradery on track is like nothing you’ll ever experience elsewhere. If you’re ever losing faith in humanity… go out and compete in a marathon!
  15. There’s a part of the human spirit that shatters when you realise you’ve detoured half a kilometre off course 17kms in. Even the marshals must have packed it in by now.
  16. Random bystanders with Gatorade bottles suddenly become sexual beacons of light from above around the 18km mark.
  17. That hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground turf at the finish line never was so hallowed as it is this minute. But do we seriously need to walk up several flights of stairs post finish line for a drink?
  18. Maranoia…. it’s a thing. When you start worrying a mysterious robber will steal your hard-earned bling medallion… you’re suffering from it.
  19. You’ll register for your next event before the delayed onset muscle soreness has even set in.
  20. Running events are like pizza…if you can finish them, they’re awesome.

Those hard-fought lessons came with a sense of enlightenment that is somewhat addictive. Pushing your bodies physical capabilities like that almost takes a sadistic level of desire for a sense of satisfaction that can only come through pain. Running frees the soul. But marathons when you’re 20kgs overweight…that’s almost a socially acceptable form of self- harm. But in conclusion,

  1. Yeah, I reckon I’ve got a full marathon in me for next year…. I’ll 100% be back. And I can’t wait to convince every man and their dog to run their own epic adventures along the way.

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