Reflections on the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon

Last Sunday, I completed my 2nd half-marathon while running for Light of Life Rescue Mission for the 4th year in a row. In today’s post, I want to share a few reflections and lessons learned from the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon!

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Running for Team Light of Life

For me, running for a charity is more fulfilling than the actual race. It gives you a reason to run that is beyond yourself! This year, we had an incredible team made up of 127 runners! They raised $133,000 for the Light of Life Rescue Mission! Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” I’m so glad that a small group of 127 runners made such a significant impact for the homeless.

[shareable cite=”Margaret Mead” text=”Tweet This>> “]Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. [/shareable]

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Some of our 5k runners!

Our Team’s Final Statistics: 

  • We had 127 runners (17 more than last year)
  • We raised $132,825! (Over $42,000 more than last year)
  • We had 31 $1,000 club members (11 more than last year)
  • We finished 2nd place out of all charities (+1 from last year)

Team Light of Life – Thank you guys for being world changers! I am so proud of each of you! Thank you for running for us. The journey we take together is one of the highlights of my year!

13131494_10100164138816938_5787196722347744375_oSome of our Relay, Half Marathon, and Marathon Runners! 

Personally, I was able to raise $21,595! –  Thank you to everyone supported me and to the Brothers and Sisters in Christ Foundation for providing a very generous match! Thank you for helping the homeless men, women, and children of Pittsburgh. Your support makes a difference.

Want to Join Team Light of life in 2017?

If you are a runner and would like to run for Light of Life next year, e-mail me at dougsmith@lightoflife.org.

Reflections on my Race

Priorities Matter – I’m an all or nothing guy. My mentality tends to be: “If I can’t run the full marathon, then anything less is not worth it!” So I signed-up to run the full-marathon even though my wife and I are expecting our first child the same week of the marathon! In January, I realized that the only reason I wanted to run the full marathon was because of pride and that I only had a few months left with my wife before we have a baby. I recognized that I could either spend that time training for a marathon which would be very time consuming and take me away from Laura or I could swallow my pride, run the half-marathon, and get to spend a lot of quality time with my wife before we enter into a new season of life.

I chose to swallow my pride. I am so glad I did. Who cares about a race in comparison to your relationship with spouse? Did I get to feel the pride of accomplishment that comes from running 26.2 miles? No. Did I absolutely love and cherish the last few months with my wife? Yep! Priorities matter, and I feel like I’m only on the brink of learning the importance of them as we enter into parenthood!

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You have to Learn be Alright with not Getting a Personal Record, Running the Full, or having a Great Race – I did not run the full marathon. I did not train as well as I wanted to for the half marathon. I did not run as fast as I did last year. I did not get the time goal I was going for. Normally, all of these things would drive me nuts! I would have pity parties, become paralyzed by disappointment, and be down in the dumps for a few days.

However, I’m learning to not find my identity in who I am or what I do. Keith Moore once said, “If your identity is inanything you can lose, you are in danger of having an identity crisis.”

[shareable cite=”-Keith Moore” text=”Tweet this >>”]’If your identity is in anything you can lose, you’re in danger of an identity crisis.'[/shareable]

My identity does not come from running full-marathons, getting faster every year, or getting personal records every year. When you don’t find your identity in these things, life is a whole lot easier! I can tell when I’m finding my identity in the wrong things by how upset I get when things don’t go the way I want them to. It’s important to realize why things didn’t go well and what I could do better the next time, but I can never let disappointment define me or discourage me. Learn to be ok when things don’t go the way you wanted them to. 

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You Get the Results that You Prepare For – This should go without saying, but you are always going to get what you’re willing to put into something. I know what it takes to train for a full marathon. So when I knew I was doing the half-marathon, I thought I could get away with training less. I.  thought it would be a walk in the park. I was wrong. I actually thought that running the half marathon was harder than running the full! Why? I didn’t train for it like I should have.

It was a great reminder for me to never take shortcuts, never wing it, and never assume that past performance will carry you into excellent future performance. You always have to put in the work! There are no shortcuts on the road to success!

Enjoy the Journey – The one nice thing about running the half this year was I wasn’t that concerned about hitting a certain time goal, etc. As a result, I was able to enjoy the race more than I have in years past. I took pictures, I face-timed Laura, and I really took everything in. Sometimes, we just have to throw our goals aside and simply enjoy life! I am grateful that I was able to do that during this race.

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My Race Highlight: The highlight of this year’s race for me was face-timing Laura as I crossed the finish line. Because we’re having a child, Laura wasn’t able to train and run in the race with me this year. Although Laura could not run with me, thanks to technology, we were able to cross the finish line together! For us, it was a great way to recognize that we’re crossing the finish line in this season of our lives and crossing the start line of the next season! It was a memory I’ll never forget.

Overall, I really enjoyed the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon and I am so proud of our Marathon team raising $132,000 for the homeless! It doesn’t get any better than making a difference for others! I’m looking forward to 2017!

Did you run in the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon? What Lessons did you learn? Comment below! 

Thoughts? Comment below! 

If this post helped you and you believe it could help others, please recommend it on Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, and the other social media sites listed below. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Leave a comment belowThank you!

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2 Responses

  1. Doug: I read a lot … and reading your Blog was refreshing and encouraging … an excellent read! Thank you! We are Abba’s Child! That’s what really matters! Blessings.

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