As we are set to close week one of November, my brain has been fixated on the holidays.   Thanksgiving is right around the corner, Catherine’s obsession with Black Friday, Christmas, and of course the New Year.  With the new year comes the one thing that I hate the most, a New Year’s resolution.  I am working on mine for this year and I want to do something different from years past.  But, I was reflecting back to one I did a few years ago with a buddy of mine, a Half Marathon.  I have to admit as bad as it sucked running and running and running, it was a positive in the end.  So with that, I encourage all of you to think about signing up for one.

Here’s why I think you should:

  1. You will lose weight.  I know that weight loss is on many people’s mind during this time of year. It is better and more healthy than a crash diet. I have seen people lose 20-30 lbs just training for the half marathon.
  2. You will get in the best shape of your life. Even if you are not exercising right now, you still have plenty of time to get in shape before you do a half marathon.   You begin by walking. Some people chose to walk the race itself. Regardless, you will be surprised at how far you can come in just a couple of months time.
  3. You will feel more energetic and productive at work. This is a benefit I didn’t expect when I first started. I thought regular exercise—especially training for a half marathon—would sap my energy. It had exactly the opposite effect. I am never more focused and energetic than when I am in the middle of training.  Why I don’t keep training is a mystery to me.  I need to kick myself in my own ass.
  4. You will have a positive way of dealing with the stress in your life. The stress of life takes its toll. The economic realities of the past couple of years hasn’t helped most households. Training for a half marathon will give you a positive outlet for your stress. You will even sleep better. Guaranteed.
  5. You will have an incredible sense of accomplishment when you finish. There’s nothing like crossing the finish line after running 13.1 miles, especially if you have never done it. The feeling is exhilarating. You will feel rightly proud of yourself.  That is right after you feel like dying at the finish line.
  6. You will gain the confidence to take on other challenges. This is one of the main reasons I love to run. It gives me the opportunity to tackle my biggest challenge—me. If I can overcome the mental obstacles I encounter on the way to the race, I can put those skills to use in other endeavors.  I say it all of the time to the people around me, your mind is a powerful tool.  Use it to overcome the physical aspects of the task, let your mind control it, be tough and persevere.
  7. You will provide an example for others. True leadership begins with self-leadership. When you lead yourself, you inspire others to want to follow. Maybe it’s a spouse, a close neighbor, or a friend, or one of your children. They need to exercise, but they don’t have an example to follow. You can be that example.
  8. You can help raise money for a worthy cause. You can research various charities in your area that will gladly have you run on their behalf to raise money for a cause.  13.1 miles to help an underprivileged child, feed the homeless, etc.  A couple of hours out of your life to make a change in someone’s life forever….

Convinced yet? If you want to run, I suggest you look up the Jeff Galloway method. It’s specifically designed for beginners. You can find his various training schedules here. It basically involves a program of walking and running. It allows you to incrementally improve over time without killing yourself.

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