52 Half Marathons Was an Awesome Idea and a Terrible Idea

February 12, 2013

Yep. I use this picture a lot, 'cause it's one of my favorites.
Yep. I use this picture a lot, ’cause it’s one of my favorites.

This crazy project gave me so much.

In some ways, it sort of gave me my life back, kind of… It did bring some stress (although, I generally love and feed off of stress). But it also brought a lot of happiness and a newfound (or perhaps re-found) sense of adventure. It definitely got me back in the swing of working out again. And it made me know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’ll always be able to handle 13.1 miles.

I do think that I’d gotten most of what I really needed from this project about halfway though. I’d gotten the habit of running back. I was back to wanting to exercise, not dreading it.

I still had some amazing adventures after the halfway mark. (For instance, I got to dress up with my dad and go to a special Spirit Award reception. The Goofy Challenge was pretty much beyond words. Definitely cool stuff happened.)

But yeah. We could easily sit around and argue if this was worth all the money. Technically, if all I wanted to do was enjoy working out again, I could’ve pumped that money into a gym membership and personal trainer.

But… I don’t know if those things would’ve made working out fun. I might’ve kept in the same cycle of try/nope, I’ll never get back to where I was/give up that I’d been in ’til I started the project.

There are tons of things in this world I could’ve done instead of this with the money I spent. But, I did this. And while it does seem like maybe sort of a foolish investment, it was definitely fun. And it was a super roller coaster. And it’ll be an interesting memory to say the least.

We also could argue that I spent a lot of time on this – time I could’ve spent being a better person in any number of different ways. I could’ve perhaps volunteered, or done nice deeds for friends, or tried to start learning a language.

Actually working out is time well spent, but I spent a lot of time traveling and waiting at races and sleeping on buses and all that crazy stuff.

Now, would I have actually used my time for good? Or would I have sat around my apartment and watched all the seasons of Three’s Company?

Lastly, we could argue – we won’t even argue about this one ’cause it just is true. This was not the best way to train to get any better. Doing the same (or the same-ish) mileage every week doesn’t increase your speed. There are training plans for a reason.

Granted, I could’ve done more during the week to help myself a little more. I just always felt like I was barely hanging on for dear life. So, I wasn’t worried about increasing miles or speed during the week.

All I know is it’s absolutely not the right way to train.

So, basically, the year didn’t give me optimal health, or an optimal bank account for that matter – because I didn’t do those things for myself. But it definitely did what it was supposed to do (and more). It did force me to get back into being active.

The year may not have given me optimal health, but it  me way better health. And it helped me to meet some amazing people. It gave me some insane experiences (some of which I’m still having even though the project).

So, definitely not the best way to train. Not the most economical. But a year to remember.

2 thoughts on “52 Half Marathons Was an Awesome Idea and a Terrible Idea”

  1. These questions dwell in the back of my mind as well. This project of mine will take more than 52 weeks (in fact, I hope to be done by 2016), but over that time, I will probably spend as much as you did in just one year. I do ask myself why I’m doing it, but ultimately it comes down to a very simple answer: because I want to.

    Because this is what I like to do with my time. Because it’s not just about running and receiving a trinket to remember the race. It’s about going somewhere new, feeling an exhilarating rush of adrenaline with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of others, meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends or family members.

    It doesn’t make us any money or increase our standing in the world … but that was never the intention. The point was to do something awesome and forever wear that proud accomplishment as a laurel, only to look forward and wonder what other great things we can achieve.

    1. I’m with you.

      I do love running, and I do believe it’s worth money. I don’t know if it was so necessary to do such a huge project… ‘Cause you know, when you choose to do some things, that means you choose not to do other things.

      And, once I got to about the middle or definitely the last third of the project, I stopped improving. This is absolutely not the smartest way to train. So, it had pros and cons (as almost everything does). But it was certainly an adventure to say the least! 😛

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