What I learned in my last marathon

While participating in my third marathon at the Milwaukee Running Festival this past weekend, I’ve had a lot of personal goals set out for myself performance wise, and in the days leading up to race day I began to realign some of my goals and priorities. My mind was so focused on time-based goals and there were many things that I was missing out on.

Come race day I had a completely changed mindset and throughout the race I learned (and was reminded of) a few lessons that helped me achieve many of my goals while also having an awesome time with great people.

To start, I was reminded to..

Stay in your lane

There really is no point in competing with other people around you, especially if they are miles (see what I did there?) ahead of you in terms of experience, leg strength, and longevity. It’s not you racing against other runners, but rather against your own personal goals.

It’s OK to show weakness

Pushing yourself harder and further ahead is great and it is the only way to grow in anything in life and I’m always an advocate of this mindset, however there does come a time when you have to momentarily relinquish that part of you and allow yourself to be show signs of weakness. If this means taking a walking break (or in my case, about a dozen), go for it!

Many runners may find it easy to provide encouraging words to other runners while blazing past them, but find it quite hard to take those same words from other runners when they are running low on gas. It’s a practice in humbleness which really strengthens you in the (Wait for it…) long run!

Everyone is equal

One thing that I really loved about the Milwaukee Running Festival was the fact that, no matter what distance you were running, every runner recieved same medal, whether it was a 5k, half, or full marathon. The thing is, everyone who was out there was there to give it their all and the way I see it, if the most that your body will allow you to run at the event was 3 miles, you’re the equivalent of another runner whose body could only allow them to run a marathon. Everyone runs for a purpose and has a personal battle.

Time is nothing and everything

I agree that every runner should have a personal goal going into a race and often times its time related. There is no big issue in this, so long as you don’t become so consumed by achieving or beating a time that you forget to enjoy yourself. If you do happen to achieve your goal, there is absolutely a cause for celebration, and if the time got away from you, time means nothing and celebration is still absolutely necessary!

Photo Credit: Joshua Sortino

Enjoy the journey

I’m not going to wait until I get to the finish line to start celebrating and having a great time

If I’m going to be out there on the course all morning, I’m not going to wait until I get to the finish line to start celebrating and having a great time. I didn’t sign up for this run just so that I could beat my record but because I truly love running and being around other like-minded runners and active individuals. Crossing the finish line is definitely an unforgettable experience and it’s something that I don’t feel that I could ever get used to, but that feeling is only made possible by the journey throughout the great course itself along with the amazing support from all those who came out to cheer and volunteer.

Running is a great sport filled with wonderful people to meet on each new course. There are lots of life lessons that I’ve learned throughout my two years of running and hopefully you’ve found some value in some of these that I’ve listed.

Feel free to also share this article to both runners and non-runners and if there are any things that you’d like to share from your experiences be sure to do so.

Thanks for reading!