• Mackenzie Gallagher

20 things I learned after running 45 miles in a pandemic

As we all know, COVID-19 has resulted in drastic changes in our lives in many different ways. Daily routines were changed, public places closed, and most of us had to leave our home in Stillwater. This also means leaving our sisters and cutting the semester short. While this could easily be seen as a negative impact, I decided to make the most of my newly found free time at home.

So, I set a challenge for myself. For the entire month of April, I would run every day. The first 10 days I would run 1 mile, the next 10 I would run 1.5 miles, and the last 10 I would run 2 miles. I always hated running, and I mean HATED it. I would tell people that running just isn't my thing. But I wanted to challenge myself in a way that I never had before, and man did I surprise myself. I ran a total of 45 miles in 30 days. Here are 20 things I learned from it: 1. You can do anything you put your mind to 2. Writing down/ physically keeping track of your progress helps SO MUCH especially if you're a visual person like me 3. IT GETS EASIER

4. Your body is capable of way more than you think 5. That being said, your body also needs breaks/time to heal. That doesn't make you weak. 6. Keep mind over matter and believe in yourself 7. Runners high is a real thing (I never believed it before) 8. Having a support system makes a world of difference 9. Be kind to yourself and your body 10. Running does help with decreasing anxiety 11. The joy you feel after completing your run trumps the pain you feel in the beginning 12. I appreciate nature more. When you look around, you notice the beauty in the little things 13. Keeping a steady pace is crucial, it's easy to tire out quickly 14. Stretching is just as important as completing the run

15. Never say "I can't" 16. Be thankful for your body and what it's capable of 17. Do not let quitting be an option 18. Try to find motivation and inspiration in the most unexpected places 19. Set little goals along the way helps to complete the big goal in the end 20. Overcoming an obstacle or challenge in life may seem extremely daunting at first, but facing it head-on is the most powerful thing you can do This challenge has made me realize that I am stronger than I gave myself credit for. I have never felt more confident in myself or in my abilities to push myself. I have lost weight and developed muscles I never knew I had. Most importantly, I gained confidence, something I always struggled with and still do to this day. I'm proud of the progress I've made and can't wait to continue my fitness journey. I am now getting ready to run my very first 5k with some of my sisters! The lessons I have learned from this experience made it all worth it, and I will be applying them to other aspects of my life as well. Most of all, gaining the support and positive feedback from everyone in Alpha Delta Pi made me realize that even though we are now miles apart, I can always rely on them to lift me up. I hope that the 20 things I learned can inspire someone to challenge themselves and do something they thought was "impossible" because I promise, it's worth it. -Rachael Begun

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