Training For A Half Marathon Has Taught Me A Lot

Training For A Half Marathon Has Taught Me More Than How To Run 13.1

And it could do the same for you, too.

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The thought of a half marathon can be the most exhausting experience to some and the most inspiring thing to others. The talk of 13.1 miles definitely elicits a different reaction in each person who discusses it. However, it has always been something that motivated me. So after years of saying that I want to run a half, I have finally kept my promise to myself and signed up for one.

Now first, let me say that training for a potential half and training for a half you have signed up for are two completely different things. Once you've signed up, the training becomes less of an option, and well frankly, an expectation. And add on to that the feeling of knowing that you need to keep this promise to yourself.

But throughout these few months of runs, both long and short, I've learned a lot more than how to (hopefully) run that ultimate 13.1 miles. Quite honestly, way more than I ever expected to learn.

I've learned that you can have a wild dream. And follow through with it. To some avid runners, 13.1 is just the start but to a girl who proudly exclaimed "I don't run!" and was out of breath at the thought of a full mile even within the past year it's the real deal. So to actually come from not running to running 13.1 miles being feasible is proof that your craziest dreams are only as far as you let them be.

I've learned that training pays off. You often hear that practice makes perfect and that little things each day or week can culminate in something much bigger. But I've actually seen that come to life through my training. One mile slowly evolved into two, into four, into seven, and so on. And while it's insane to say it, the first few miles months ago were much harder than the long runs I'm doing now.

I've learned that most things in life are mental. I cannot tell you how many times I've gotten on the treadmill and told myself "Okay, you're doing x amount of miles or x minutes" then wanted to get off within five minutes. But, each time I remembered that I made a deal with myself and that the time was going to pass anyway so it was time to push through. The only person I would have been failing was myself and this half was taught me how exactly not to do that.

I've learned that you can (and should) have mini victories on the way to your bigger goal. Five miles is nothing compared to 13.1, but you bet I celebrated that five as if it was race day itself. Allowing yourself to celebrate your steps toward success, believe it or not, will get you to your ultimate goal faster and happier.

When I cross that finish line on race day, I will have run 13.1 miles. But I will have gained so much more than some miles under my feet and a medal. Looking back at each of these lessons learned makes me feel so thankful that I strapped up my sneakers a few months back and set out on this journey. Run by run, I've become a better me. And for that I'm forever grateful.

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter
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I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

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One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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