I ran my first half marathon!

No, this is not a brag post. It’s about overcoming fear and self doubt. It’s about the choices we all face, and the decisions we all make, every day.

I run as part of my focus on fitness, nutrition and lifestyle. I started out with short, slow runs and gradually increased distance and pace as my stamina improved. Over time I came to appreciate the freedom running brought and started to actually enjoy it!

I leveraged many resources to get better including online tools and apps, articles, videos, podcasts, and even spoke to a few coaches. Over time I became a better and more efficient runner. Still not serious, but a runner nonetheless.

But no matter the resources we leverage, or how prepared we think we are, we still experience self doubt. The questioning of our ability and desire to continue. The moments when we want to quit.

So as I’m running this much longer than normal distance for me, many negative thoughts that went through my mind:

👎 It’s too hot!

👎 My legs are sore

👎 I didn’t plan my route

👎 I think I injured my foot

👎 I should have started earlier

👎 Why the heck am I doing this?

👎 Did I bring enough water and food?

👎 And did I mention it’s really hot and humid?

Now each of these reasons, excuses, fears, and rationalizations were enough to justify stopping or shortening my run.

But I didn’t. I kept going. I pushed on.

Sure I slowed down around 18km, and in fact I walked a few hundred metres at one point.

But I didn’t stop. I pushed through. And I finished. My 1st half marathon!

Now, it wasn’t particularly fast, and I was definitely sore the next day, but I didn’t care.

Because by pushing through I removed the self doubt that I can do it. I overcame the adversity that questioning myself created. And I increased my self confidence be proving that self imposed barriers and worries are just that, self imposed, and therefore can be overcome.

So now I am focusing on getting better. Being able to run further and faster. Ensuring I am better prepared. Increasing my confidence in my running ability. Maybe even to the point of considering a full marathon in the future. Time will tell!

We all face choices like this daily as we pursue our goals. Only you can decide to continue!

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