10 Things I’ve Learnt About Myself From Running A Marathon

adidas Marathon_AliceTate

Running a marathon was something I never thought I’d do, but I did it, i’ve done it, and here’s what I learnt about myself along the way...

My body is amazing

Yes, my body is amazing. I might have the odd hang up, not love every single bit of it, but it’s absolutely amazing, both inside and out — what it can do, how it can recover, what it can tell me. Seriously great.

I’m stronger than I think

Both mentally and physically, I’m stronger than I think. I’ve shown myself how much and what I can achieve when I set my mind to it.

I have the most supportive family and friends

I am still so overwhelmed and humbled by all the love, support and words of encouragement my friends and family have showered me with over the past few months on my marathon training journey. I love you all, you lovely lot.

Limits are all in your mind

I honestly never thought I’d run a marathon. Never thought I’d be able to. But I have. I’ve done it. And even when it got really hard, I pushed through and conquered. Limits are just in your mind.

I’m in it for the journey not the results

Honestly, I enjoyed every single bit of marathon training — the early starts, the long runs, the eating more to refuel… Race day too was one of the happiest days ever. I’ve enjoyed it all for the journey, the highs and the lows, rather than for what time I finished with. That’s definitely something I’ve learnt about myself generally: I’m in it for the journey and the experiences, rather than the results.

Cellulite is fine (and still there after 26.2 miles)

You think 6 months of running regularly and training up to 26.2 miles would get rid of cellulite. Nah. Nope. You’re wrong. You can be as fit as a fiddle, and do something as physically challenging as a marathon and still have plenty of the stuff. And so what?

Nothing is impossible

Things get tough, might seem too hard at times, but nothing is impossible. You want something, you should work hard and go get it. Start somewhere and build your way up.

Running is my reset button

I think a lot of my friends and family thought adding a marathon to my already mental schedule would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. That I’d breakdown under the pressure of it all at some point, but honestly, running has been the biggest release over the past few months. A reset button to counteract the stress of buying a house, moving house, deadlines, and so on. I think I’ve really benefited from the me-time of long runs, and the sense of achievement week on week. For me, it’s the ultimate stress relief. 

I can run without music

Something I didn’t think I’d ever do, let alone enjoy…running without any music, any podcasts, nor nothing. Just me and my breathing out on the road. I ran the whole of London Marathon without any music at all. Ask my 2 months ago to run mile without music and I’d tell you it wouldn’t happen.

Fitness is part of my life, not all of it.

I trained for a marathon but I also at chips, got drunk, had Sunday night wine, has plenty of pints of cider, travelled lots and skipped workouts. I’m not someone who’s ever going to abstain from anything for the sake of performance. For me, fitness is one of the strands of my colourful life. It’s not all of it and it never will be. You’ve got to have fun to stay sane and grounded.

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