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Holy Half training

| Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Over Christmas break, in a moment of inspiration, I decided to sign up to run the Holy Half. I enjoy running, but by no means have I ever been considered athletic. I attempted to run cross country in high school. I was plagued by stress fractures every year, and I would always hang up my running shoes a few weeks into the season. I was nervous that with a consistent training regimen my stress fractures would reoccur, but with new insoles in my running shoes, so far I have been fracture-free.

After training for several weeks now, I have come to recognize familiar faces as I run around the lakes. With a soft smile and a wave, I feel a sense of camaraderie with the people who run at the same time as me every afternoon. I have many friends who are also planning on running the Holy Half. This has sparked many conversations and debates about running and training. The sense of community among runners at Notre Dame is strong.

When visiting campus, my parents have commented on how active students at Notre Dame are, and I feel as though this is amplified around this time of year. The weather is warming up, the sun is shining and people are itching to get outside. I wonder if students all over the country are this active, but I think the Notre Dame mentality of always striving to be the best version of yourself plays a big role here. This helps students stick to their training plans. When you see your friends and countless other people getting outside and running every day, you are much more motivated to do the same.

Along with an increased sense of community, training for the Holy Half has given me more of an appreciation for the beauty of Notre Dame’s campus. I am an introvert, and the time I spend running is often the only hour of true solitude I get each day. I prefer to run without headphones or music, just my thoughts. This time I spend with myself clears my head, and I often come up with great ideas or solutions to problems I am having while out for a run. This silence has also forced me to take in my surroundings around campus. So many other times while walking around campus I am distracted by a million other things, but in my time running I have truly been able to take in all the details of campus that I had previously overlooked.

I am looking forward to running the Holy Half in a little over a month. I know the sense of accomplishment I will have upon finishing will be worth all the long runs I have pushed myself through this semester. And hey, maybe I will finally be able to consider myself athletic once and for all.

For anyone who is willing and able, I highly recommend training for the Holy Half. You won’t regret it.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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