How I Reached My Impossible Goal of Running a Half Marathon While Having Fun

Written by Taraleigh Weathers

I have had a dream of running a half marathon for years. It was one of those, "one day I'll do it" things.

I was always talking about it, but never taking action.

I was scared. I thought it was impossible for me to run that far.

Years went by, but I couldn't get the dream out of my head.

Then one day I got serious. Having practiced yoga, I'd learned to breathe through challenging situations, and I realized that maybe a half-marathon wouldn't be so impossible after all.

I decided I was going to do it for real this time...and I did!

The amazing part was I ran most of the way and finished in under three hours.

I cried at the starting line because I was like, OMG! I am about to run 13 miles without really training. What was I thinking? 

I cried when the sun started rising about 30 minutes into the run. It was so beautiful and I felt so lucky to be where I was right at that exact moment, literally taking one step at at time to achieve one of my dreams. I cried at the finish line because holy crap...I actually ran 13.1 miles and had fun while doing it.

So how did I do it and what did I learn? Let me tell you.

1. I enlisted a friend to do it with me. 

My friend Britt (who wasn't a runner, either) decided to be crazy with me and we both signed up for the Diva Half Marathon in Puerto Rico. Enrolling her to achieve my "impossible" goal was what made it actually come to light.

I thought of backing out a couple of times, but I knew Britt was training for it and counting on me, so I kept my promise to her. I woke up the day of the race, put my shoes on, got in the car and walked to the starting line.

2. I celebrated at every mile. 

When I saw the one-mile marker, I got so excited. I started yelling out loud, "I made it!" Then I pointed at everyone around me and said, "You did it! And you did it! And you did it!" It's important to celebrate every milestone, no matter how big or small. This is true not only in races, but in life. I did this at every mile.

3. I enjoyed the journey because I made it fun. 

I "trained" for the half marathon by going to concerts. I figured if I could dance hard for four hours at a Phish show, then I could run/walk/dance a half-marathon.

Turns out I was right.

4. I literally danced the entire thing. 

I made a kick ass playlist of all my favorite songs and sang them out loud and danced. People were looking at me like I was a crazy person (which I kinda am), but I didn't care. I was having the time of my life while accomplishing an "impossible" goal.

There were bands and DJ's along the way. I stopped and danced with them. A woman was cheering on her friends, salsa dancing on the sidelines, so I stopped and danced with her. Yes, I'm sure this affected my time, but I'm also pretty confident if I didn't have fun along the way I wouldn't have ran as much as I did.

5. I visualized myself crossing the finish line. 

I practiced this visualization weeks leading up to the race: I imagined it. I felt what it felt like. I knew it was going to happen. During the race, when I felt a little tired or my feet hurt, I visualized myself crossing the finish line.

This is how I finished a half marathon while having fun, but these concepts can be applied to accomplishing anything in life. I hope to learn how you will apply these ideas to your life and can't wait to see all the magic that happens when you do!

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