Leadership Lessons From My First Official Half Marathon

Two years ago I did something crazy. I partnered with my pastor and a couple of friends to run a half marathon at 3 AM in the morning.

Little did I know what that experience would bring. It was a time of bonding, growth, and helping the less fortunate.

This half marathon was unofficial and untimed.

Half marathon runner high-fiving children

Photo by Ryan Hanson

Last year, I did something I believed I never could. I ran my first official full marathon. The marathon run was challenging, frustrating, and heart-wrenching.

That’s why, this year, when the opportunity presented itself to run for Team World Vision and clean water again, I begrudgingly said yes. I chose to run the Metro Health Grand Rapids Half Marathon because of clean water.

Five leadership insights you can learn from running a 5K

Image: Pamela Lalonde/About to cross the finish line.

In my first post, I talk about Preparing For My First 5K. It has been a few weeks since I published that post and I completed my first 5K on October 15th, 2011.

It was a great time running with my brother Steve, his friend James, and my youth pastor Rick. Steve and James decided to dress up as super heroes to run the race. You can see a great picture of them below.

James provided a great inspirational story. A year ago he was involved in a bad motorcycle wreck and had extensive reconstructive surgery from the waist down. During his recovery, he has lost 40lbs and become very health conscious. It was my pleasure to run with him in this 5K.

Preparing For My First 5K

I’m excited. In just over three weeks I’ll be running my first 5K. The run I’m participating in is called Run Thru The Rapids in Grand Rapids, MI. This race takes you through a beautiful park and along the Grand River.  The scenery along the course can be breathtaking.

I’ll be honest, I never thought this would be a possibility. Running always came off as painful and exhausting. It has been a long road but I’ve reached the point where I can run more than a 5K. Here are three challenges I had to overcome and how I managed to accomplish it.

 

Overcoming Shin Splints: When I began, this was a major issue. Five seconds out and my shins felt like that were shattering. After a few days I decided to change what I ran on. I went from running on pavement to trail running. Almost immediately the shin splints stopped and I got to enjoy the beautify of the woods and the enjoyment of a great run.