Yes – you read that correctly, and no it’s not click bait!
Hello friends, good morning. My eyes are bleary and my legs are shot – but I’ve got 13.1 miles under my belt and a heart full of really fun memories!
Let’s just get right into it, shall we? Because like…how in the world did it come to be that I made the — admittedly really stupid decision — to run on just 60 precious minutes of Z’s?
Well – the night before was one of my best friend’s birthday party. And so I didn’t get home until 4:30 in the morning. Clean, innocent fun – just…really late!
I came home, took a power nap for an hour, and then hopped in an Uber to Brooklyn, where the race began at 7am!
I’ve got to tell you – it was such an incredible experience. I ran it with a dear friend, and we finished in under 2 hours!
We started in Brooklyn, ran through Prospect Park, through the little BK neighborhoods, past the Barclays Center, over the Manhattan bridge, on the FDR Highway which overlooks the East River, through Times Square — which they had closed! — and finally, through Central Park and finishing at Tavern on the Green!
It was like a love letter to NYC. You really got a feel for all the different neighborhoods and topography of the city.
But the coolest part was that along the entire course, there were people cheering us on! It was such a sight to behold. Thousands and thousands and thousands of people, all lining the streets with signs and cowbells and enthusiasm – cheering on the runners!
And naturally, over the course of the 13.1 miles, I got to do some thinking! Because, clearly — I had some time. But it was such a beautiful parallel to – not just recovery – but life in general.
The course, it had some crazy hills, making that stretch of race particularly difficult. But to have a friend to run with, and having people there cheering us on – it made it easier. And dare I say it…fun!
There’s nothing more beautiful, than community. Sometimes I think we underestimate the positive impact we can have on people. A kind word, a genuine smile, a random phone call to catch up — we are all running this life race together, and if we can cheer someone else on — it really makes a difference.
Another thing I thought about – was how far I’ve come in my freedom from anorexia. Recovery is a journey, and with it comes many seasons. And for me, one of those seasons in my early recovery, was a severe addiction to exercise.
Exercise addiction is a common manifestation of an eating disorder, and many girls use it as a crutch in their recovery to – not so discreetly – hang onto a warped sense of control.
And that was absolutely my case. And to read how I finally kicked that addiction once and for all — you can click here.
But, to see how my relationship with exercise has gotten to where it is today — where I am no longer chained to grueling workouts, or self-hate-driven sessions of pushing my body to the absolute limit — it filled my heart with so much joy.
So for me to be able to run a half marathon, out of pure enjoyment, celebrating my healed and healthy body, – it was a such a meaningful victory.
I just remember back to those days, of feeling absolutely trapped – in a whirlwind – and just clinging to a false sense of control.
How things have changed. My body is not mine to destroy. Nor is it the be all-end all to my worth. Nor, is it a punching bag for me to take out my fears and anxieties.
It is a temple of the Holy Spirit. And how I treat it is a direct reflection of my love for the Father. Because He made me. He fashioned me together, and His spirit is dwelling in my heart. So the love and respect that I now show my body is an act of worship.
Nourishing my body, staying healthy and strong, filling up my spirit with positive and nurturing relationships, celebrating all the wonderful things God created me to do: dancing, jumping, running, resting — it gives glory to God.
My body is an act of worship.
So being able to to do this race — from the right mindset — it was so incredibly meaningful.
Will I be doing another half marathon? Eeh, probably not. Maybe if the spirit moves me, but for now – I’m going to just listen to my body — and right now, it’s telling me to take a nap and let it heal from the exertion yesterday!
But before I do – I got a few DMs on Instagram, asking about tips for running a half marathon.
So – the number one question was what type of running shoes: and here they are….They’re honestly like running on a dream. The insoles are orthopedic quality, so they are really supportive, and they look super cool. I also wore these on my 80 mile hike on the Camino de Santiago this summer in Spain. And let me just say – they are the best shoes I’ve ever owned.
What are good pre run snacks when you’re gluten free?
I like to go as nutrient dense as possible – so that’s nut butters, avocado, larabars. I’m not a huge fan of smoothies or protein shakes before a run, because it feels like it’s sloshing around in my stomach. So I always opt for a banana with lots of almond butter!
General tips for racing?
Here’s the thing: if you’re like me, and are competitive to a fault, then you’ll want to keep up with “the pack” of runners. But honestly, you’re going to burn out so quickly if you try to run faster than you’re used to. So put your pride aside and just run your own race. Which, is honestly, such an allegory for life. But let ’em pass you! Especially at the beginning, it’ll feel like everybody and their brother is zipping past you, but just run your race. Have fun, and celebrate with gratitude for the ability to run and move your muscles! God is good!
Also – this is weird, but always brush your teeth before you go! haha Having a pleasant minty fresh mouth, in my opinion, is the optimal experience. Plus – not to be gross, but if I can feel, like, part of a pumpkin seed stuck in my molars, it will drive me nuts the whole time. So yeah — brush your teeth. And – shameless plug – use my magic whitening toothpaste! Haha I’m not kidding – it’s a life changing product!
And similarly, always slap on some chapstick before you go. In my running fanny pack, I always keep my favorite tube of chapstick, and Listerine pocket strips!
Lastly – REST!! After a long run – especially a half marathon, your muscles are taxed!! So give it a break! Treat it with some love.
And on that note — take care of your feet! When I’m just walking around the house, I wear my Yoga Toes, which really helps keep my alignment correct. And then I always make sure to remove any callouses, and keep them lotioned!
OK that’s all for today! Have a great day!
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