What 15.6 Miles Means to Me

First, let’s put 15.6 miles in perspective:

It’s longer than a half marathon.
It’s 10.6 miles shorter than a full marathon.
It’s nearly the same distance as running five 5Ks back-to-back.
It’s the longest run I’ve completed…EVER.

This past Sunday marked the third Winter Series race I participated in. You can find my reviews of WS#1 here and WS#2 here. The express goal of each race is to get me closer to RnR NOLA on March 4th (well that’s MY goal, maybe not the race director’s). Sunday was the first time I felt confident enough to say, I CAN DO THIS.

It was chilly and I was nervous. I stretched and stretched, ate properly, and made sure my head was in it. I never tell myself that I CAN’T do something. I think we are all capable of doing anything we set our hearts and minds to – even if it seems impossible. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right? Man wouldn’t have landed on the moon if it wasn’t within reach.

 

So I ran. And I ran. And I kept running. After loop two (roughly halfway) I thought, “Well, that wasn’t so bad.” I was actually quite surprised how quickly eight miles weny by and I think it was at that point where I knew that I could keep going. I’ve completed four half marathons but never once tried to see how much further I could go after 13.1. I definitely surprised myself.

15.6 miles (25K) finish time: 2:24:42

I’m not going to lie – I was tired afterwards. My body ached, but in a way that told my mind that it was worth the pain. I was running on pure adrenaline for an hour or so after the race ended and then all sorts of hell broke loose with my stomach. This story is to be continued in tomorrow’s post. Trust me, it’ll be a lesson for everyone.

So, what DOES 15.6 miles mean to me?
It means that I’ve come a long way from my first 5K race in 2005 until now.
It means that I’m determined at performing a task and executing it – no ifs, ands, or buts.
It means that I’m fearless because I can adapt to and conquer new situations.
It means that I’m growing each and every day, step by step, and mile by mile.

The limits of the human body continue to amaze me. When you think you can’t go further, your body has a way of telling you otherwise. There’s nothing standing in your way. Just keep pushing no matter how long it takes. NEVER sell yourself (or your runs) short.

What do your runs mean to you? Have you ever encountered the “runner’s high?” How do you push yourself to be better, not just in running, but in life?

3 thoughts on “What 15.6 Miles Means to Me

  1. Congrats on the race!! You're going to rock your marathon!!! I have never ran farther than 13.1 miles before either, so I'm nervous/excited about marathon training to start this summer…I have doubts but I know I can do it!

  2. Awesome job! 15.6 miles is a HUGE deal! You are going to rock at your marathon!

    Mike's mom ran in the 10K this past weekend.

    I think that I have definitely gotten runner's high and I felt the same way you did after our half marathon. Which is why I want to go for more and longer!

  3. Thanks, ladies! If I can do it, you both can, too! I'm afraid I'm going to catch the marathon bug. Is it bad that I'm already looking at #2 before I've even toed the start line of #1? Crazy!

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