Trust the process: Lessons from training to run my first Half Marathon

Trust the process: Lessons from training to run my first Half Marathon

A piece of advice I heard time and time again as I prepared to start my MBA was to say yes to new adventures. It was clear to me how this could apply to exploring new professional industries or traveling to exciting places. What never crossed my mind was that this could also apply to my hobbies—namely, saying yes to running my first Half Marathon.

Like so many of my fondest memories, it started with an invitation from a good friend. After getting together to run the Army Ten Miler last fall, I teamed up with a fellow Boothie to take on the challenge of running our first Half Marathon together. After all, what are 3.1 more miles after you already ran 10? [Spoiler alert—they were the longest 3.1 miles of my life!]

Starting January, we committed to a training plan that would lead us all the way to race day, on April 9th. Having never done any sort of training plan, this 12-week commitment felt almost as daunting as the race itself. Nevertheless, I was motivated by wanting to make sure that I would run it in the healthiest and most sustainable way I could.

200+ miles later, seeing this training plan through is one of the MBA-accomplishments I’m most proud of. Looking back to the first day when I laced my shoes to face the Windy City’s January cold, there are three lessons I will hold on to for all the miles yet to come:

  1. Intensity is overrated and consistency is overlooked: as a healthy individual, I have always been able to “go for a run” without much thought about the day after. Because of this, on multiple occasions I suffered overexertion injuries (and endured a lot of unnecessary soreness). For the Half Marathon, I focused on consistent training, without skipping workouts, and stopping at my daily goal even when I felt good enough to go for a few more miles. Although it was difficult, it was also the number one factor in making sure that I got to the race ready to perform at my best.
  2. There is great joy in the little things: consistent training meant pushing past my inertia on the lazy days—and having to prioritize runs even when they clashed with Booth’s busy social schedule. In doing so, I learned that my ultimate energizer is finding joy in the process—picking a new workout outfit, trying out a different running course, or exploring a new playlist. Because now I have a better understanding of my sources of joy in tough times, I feel better equipped to tackle new (and greater) challenges in the future.
  3. Together we do go further: this experience would not have been possible without the help and support of my Booth family. From being great accountability partners to running the last couple of miles by my side for moral support, the Boothies I encountered in this journey gave new meaning to an African proverb I’ve always valued: “Alone you go quickly, but together you go further.” I could not have asked for a better group to share the energy and excitement of my first Half Marathon, and I’m already looking forward to our next running meetup!
Fellow Boothie Chloe Saddler and me after we crossed the finish line.

Welcome to The Booth Experience Blog