December 1st, 2018 I ran my second half marathon. Unlike my first half marathon, I was wholly unprepared other than doing our gym’s Crossfit programming 4-5 days a week. I’m 32 years old and 2 years off of reconstructive Achilles tendon surgery, so my expectations were to just finish the race. As it is, I was able to improve my time by over 10 minutes with no distance running training. I truly believe the mental component of distance running is where my CrossFit training really took over. Prior to Crossfit, not only would I not finish the race, but I would never of had the guts to enter it. Day in and day out, Crossfit programming and it’s community fosters mental fortitude and a willingness to dive outside your comfort zone to achieve personal bests.
I was able to achieve a personal best for 13.1 miles thanks to this component of Crossfit. The body is an amazing machine, and if you can train the mind as well, you will be surprised at the things your body can, will, and should do. This isn’t true just for me; CrossFit District 5 had 4 other athletes that completed their first or second half marathon with competitively average times and no real training outside of CrossFit. Probably most impressive though, is a member of ours who ran and completed her first half marathon at less than a year postpartum. She completed training with Fleet Feet in Winston Salem, NC as well as CrossFit 5 days a week.
Distance running is a great equalizer. It is one of the most even playing fields for athletes of all ages. I was very inspired by the men and women likely close to twice my age that ran past me during the race, and the ones that were pushing my pace the last 3 miles. Like CrossFit, the running community is a positive and motivating experience, because when like minded individuals join together to complete a hard task, bonds are created and the reward is unmatched. Hugging complete strangers at the finish line, receiving pats on the back and small words of encouragement from passers are all reasons why COMMUNITY sets us apart. CrossFit has helped me train my mind to a point where I will try (almost) anything with a sense of comfort, because I know how to feel uncomfortable and I know it well.
Shout-out to Fleet Feet for hosting a great event and all the District 5 coaches and athletes that joined in the distance running fun. We can’t wait to crush the Mistletoe Half-Marathon again next year!