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Running for Fun?!


Pictures from my Half Marathon on Saturday!

If you had told me a year ago that I would be writing a blog about fitness I would have thought you were crazy.  BUT if you had told me I would be writing a post about running for fun, I would have known you were just full on lying.  And yet, here I am, writing about how this morning I got out of bed and ran, for fun.  It was not for training, or to lose weight, or because someone told me I should.  I ran, purely because I love it, and it makes me feel amazing.  Even in 24 degree weather (with a real feel of 16 degrees) I couldn’t wait to pull on the layers and hit the streets.

Running makes me feel, every feeling.  At times: strong, confident, empowered, fulfilled, and happy.  Other times: pained, weak, and exhausted.  But either way, when I finish, I always feel the same thing: Proud.  Proud that I did something I couldn’t have done just a few short months ago, proud of the fact that I can motivate myself, and proud of all of the goals that running has helped me achieve.  One of those goals being the Half Marathon last Saturday.

When I was running the Half, I definitely had many highs and lows. For the first 7 miles I felt like I could run forever.  When I hit mile eight I felt like I NEVER wanted to run again.  Thank goodness (as usual) for Kara being there with a motivational word.  The other thing that helped was Julia, her husband Ben and her daughter Lillie as well as Kara’s boyfriend (and my very good friend) Serg, being there along the route to cheer me on! One thing that I did do to prepare for hitting this wall was to make the most amazing playlist of all time (atleast I think so) including songs that make me think of all the amazing people in my life who have helped push me to reach these goals. I’ve gone back and forth a few times debating whether or not listening to music helps or hurts me when I run, but for something as long as a half marathon, it really helps me get through.


Kara and I at the start of the race.

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My medal!!

I know that when I look back on Saturday I will always highlight two parts of the story- One: it was snowing!! And two: the way I felt crossing the finish line with one of my best friends and seeing so many of my friends, my girlfriend and my parents waiting to congratulate me.  It was emotional to say the least.  Remember the time I told you all about my emotional experience at the Tri-Sprint? (If you haven’t read about that yet, check it out here.) Well it wasn’t quite like that, but it did end with me crying on Julia’s shoulder again, happy tears this time 🙂

The strangest feeling of the entire weekend though, was the one I had on Sunday morning. It was a “whats next” feeling.  I actually felt quite similarly to how I did when I hit my goal weight… What is my motivation to keep training? I let myself have Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday off, but by Tuesday night I was starting to feel the low I hit when I stop working out, and I knew I had to get up this morning if I was going to stay on track for the four races I have coming up in the next eight weeks.  Before I went to bed last night, I started going through, in my head, all of the things that I love about running and I woke up this morning with a fresh outlook.  I jumped out of bed at six-thirty ready to run the three miles I had promised myself I would.

And you know what?! I literally loved every minute of it! I forgot how it feels to run just for fun.  It was strange really, to not worry about how long it was taking me or how far I was going but to truly just enjoy running.  It helped, of course, that my girlfriend Mindy was with me because (in my opinion) its always better to run together!! But, it really was the first no pressure run I’ve had in months.

I can’t wait to get back out there and start training for my next half, but in the mean time, I will love every minute of running, just for fun!




About Crystal Carlin

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