6 Months, 426.6 Miles

Today marks 6 months and 426.6 miles.

We started this running process way back in March. Since then, we’ve run a 5K, a 10K, our first half marathon, and our second half marathon. And, of course, we’ve been running like crazy fools between all of those races in preparation for “the big one” — our first full marathon in January.

I’ve learned a few things since I put on my running shoes six months ago…

1. I will never run faster than a fifteen year old boy. Every race we’ve run has been won by a teenage boy, and every time, he’s run it in half the time that it takes me. But, hey, the human brain isn’t fully developed until the age of twenty-one, so at least I’m running (albeit very slowly) with all my marbles. So there!

2. The first mile is always the hardest. I’m sure my opinion on this will change when I run a full marathon and know what mile 26 feels like, but for now, that first mile is the biggest hurdle of all. The thirteenth mile is nothing in comparison to those first few minutes of huffing and puffing.

3. Finishing is winning. Despite what Ana would tell you (“Mommy is always last!”), I’m not the last gazelle in the pack at our races. But I’m certainly not the first. And I’m not even in the first half of the group! But I’ve finished every race I’ve ever started, and to a non-athlete like me? That’s winning. Emma has learned this truth for herself and finishes every run way behind Ana but with her arms still thrown in the air, screeching, “I winned! I winned!” You sure did!

4. Running doesn’t work miracles. Two hours of running doesn’t burn off the same number of calories that can be found in a box of Krispy Kremes. Trust me on this one. You can lose weight running, but you still have to employ a little bit of common sense when it comes to your diet. Sad day, I know.

5. It helps to have a friend. I enjoy running by myself, where I’m free to zone out without feeling the need to keep up a conversation. That said, it’s nice to have someone else who is on the same training plan. Wes and I run at different times, but we have the same plan. It’s a great motivator, knowing that I have to keep up for him and he has to keep up for me. Team Faulk has seriously been a team effort, every step of the way.

6. ANYONE can do this. If I can do this, anyone can do this. Every race we’ve been in, we find ourselves running alongside people from a wide range of abilities and ages, and they’re ALL cheering one another on, from the fastest hard-core guys to ladies like me. All it takes is a good pair of shoes…

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