Running Beyond the Numbers

Hi there! I’m Daniella and I’m a senior studying Strategic Communications in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I love dogs, Mexican food, and am fluent in emoji. I recently ran the Madison Half Marathon and am hyped to find my next fitness goal! Learn more about how this half marathon went way beyond the realm of fitness for me.
My workout regimen has changed drastically since my high school and club sport days, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. Like most college students, balancing work, school, volunteering, and oh yeah, a social life, can be a job within itself. (If you’re out there, doppelgänger, find me and let’s divide and conquer my schedule.) So, when my roommate and I decided to make a pact to run the Madison Half Marathon several months ago, I may have slightly overlooked how training might impact my daily schedule. Whoops…
Flashback to two weeks ago. I had barely stuck to any training and, on top of that, hadn’t even registered for the race yet. I could feel the anxiety brewing. When I compared myself to my roommate, who had diligently followed her training schedule, self-doubt snuck its way into my head and I began questioning myself. Could I pull it off? Was it safe? Did I still want to do it? Getting through my hectic schedule with these insecurities in the back of my mind took a major toll on me, and I ended up asking myself a much more important question: WHY did I want to do this in the first place?
I thought about this question most days leading up to the half marathon, and on race day it was the answer to this question that really got me through the race. The first time I thought about running a half marathon was over a year ago when my 21st birthday was approaching. I wanted a way to prove to myself that I still had the self-will and determination I once had in my past life as a three-sport high school athlete — and now that I’m turning 22 next month, I thought it was time I finally do it.
A professor once told me that the easiest way to make use of nervousness is to turn it into excitement. That’s exactly what I did 24 hours before the race. The trust I had in myself to face a challenge and overcome it – no matter what – kept me going for 13.1 miles. That, and the fact that my roommate and best friend was running next to me the whole race a lot easier.
By no means am I suggesting that everyone run a half-marathon with minimal training– this can be harmful and easily lead to injuries. Rather, when faced with an obstacle, self-imposed or not, trust yourself. Crossing the finish line can mean more than any race time or average split could ever measure.
Plus, always remember there’s pizza waiting for you once you’re done. 🍕