Some things I learned in the first half marathon in Celebration, FL

Teachings that I must apply in areas of my life and even in business.

Picture of racing bib

I participated in my first half marathon (13.1 miles) in Celebration, near Disney in Orlando. I always liked running, but I must confess that I didn’t have the discipline of training and eating that I would like. Even so, I wanted to experience that and, of course, get the medal.

As it is my first participation in this type of event, I will definitely continue (including RunDisney in 2024). So, I tried to gather some teachings that I should apply in life (and in my businesses).

Look for a group with the same goals

People are there for the healthy lifestyle, dedication to sports and self-improvement. I confess that I was surprised by the most varied ages (including the elderly). The contagious energy of the start, as early as 7 am, came with messages of motivation, electronic music pumping and lots of people (nearly two thousand, perhaps).

Undoubtedly, it would be very different to do the “virtual half marathon” (yes, it does exist), because nothing can match the sporting spirit present in the people who were there. This set makes me want to go further and seek new challenges in new races. Looking for people who want to follow the same path should take us further.

Enjoy the path

Photo of runners around the lake

The long run requires focus, we know where the finish line is, but we don’t know what we’re going to find in the middle of the track. I didn’t know if I would make it to the end. When I took each step in order to see how far I was from my final destination, a certain mental exhaustion hit.

When we arrived at a fantastic view where we see people enjoying being there (like this photo around mile 8), you could really feel that it had the purpose of enjoying the path. Getting to the end was a consequence.

The path will seem longer and more difficult if you don’t enjoy every part of it.

Solve problems on the path

When I completed about 7 miles running, my knees couldn’t take it anymore. At this point, the lack of preparation appeared and I had to slow down. I understood that from then on I would no longer be able to run and would have to walk in order to reach the end. There was no lack of breath, but the knee could no longer absorb the impact of running. I believe that a smoother pace, seeking to reduce the impact on the knee, could have helped.

Celebration Half Marathon Map

When you see people visibly much older than you walking fast and even leaning to the side because they are so tired, you understand that it is possible to go further. It’s really admirable each step and to think that the conditions are not the same for everyone but the preparation and history differentiates each individual. I remember seeing a gentleman, apparently well into his 70s, a bit out of shape and his T-shirt saying he had run marathons in all 50 states.

The fact is that we are here to solve problems along the way, if things do not go as planned, we must adapt and continue at a pace that allows us to reach the end.

The value of the medal

After this effort, receiving a medal had a special taste. The pride of thinking that I’ve completed a half marathon is priceless, the word “marathon” alone carries weight (even if it’s only a half marathon). I didn’t make the best time in the world (3h 12min 56s), but for a first race it’s great (the first half I did in 1 hour, then 2 hours just walking).

Photo of myself holding the medal