If you’ve been following my Facebook page, you know I ran 50 miles 9 days ago. Whaaa? Did she type that correctly? Yes, yes ,yes. I ran (well walked and jogged and ran and walked some more) 50 miles last weekend. It was a great experience and after I realized there are some great life lessons learned from running.

This sucks and I just started.

The run was a 4 mile loop repeated 13 times. The first couple loops I realized my back was stiff and my muscles were tight. I hadn’t run very much in about a month before this race and my body was struggling to get into it.

Liz realizes she has 13 laps to run instead of 12

And isn’t that one of those lessons learned in life? We fall off the wagon and it gets incredibly difficult to get back on. A project for work we’re procrastinating seems impossible to start. A weight loss goal we keep forgetting about every time we have to enter the gas station…

Don’t give up friends. It is so worth the fight. One “foot” in front of the other. Small goals to achieve big things.

If ya ain’t first you’re probably better off

No way on God’s green earth am I going to finish first…but maybe if I went a little faster? Slow down you idiot. You’ve never even run this distance before. Going too hard too fast can screw you up in the long run. For many of us, this is one of those life lessons learned the hard way.

Me trying to win a race back in the day…and still losing

A lot of us tend to want to be the best. We race in life and end up feeling burnt out more often than not. I am so guilty of this. I have to remember not to exhaust all my energy on one lap of the race, one day in life, one project…  Don’t use up all your willpower on just one thing.

It’s best to leave the racing to professionals. (Although shout out to my girl Lori who did end up winning the overall 50 miler! Wow! Professional butt-kicking inspiration!!)

Walkin’ ain’t so bad

My third loop I walked the whole thing. I realized early that I had a very long day ahead of me and should conserve my energy. It was my slowest lap overall but I know it helped carry me to the finish.

Feeling like you need a break and it’s only 9am? Well do it! It may not sound like a very inspirational life lesson but…Slow down, put your phone out of reach, and breathe. Even a 2 minute break from life will help you reboot. Walk your third lap, my friend. Liz Wilcox does it.

Liz Wilcox also stops for photo ops during any and all races

Everybody likes a pat on the back

I always run alone. I haven’t done a race with someone since 2013 (oh wait, that 5k with my husband!) and I like it that way. How can I hope to hear the “life lessons” the universe is trying to give me if I have a partner that is jabbering all the time? Running is ME time. I don’t have to think or worry about any of life’s responsibilities. It’s pretty much the cheapest form of therapy, if I’m being honest here.

Liz running for fun, before it was therapy.

However, I love to cheer on other runners. Any time I pass someone or they pass me, I say great job! Way to work it! Wow, look at you! I don’t leave this exclusively for race day either.

Everyone likes to be complimented, especially on their hard work. Next time you see someone working their toosh off, let ’em know!

Gas station clerk slinging those upsales? Right on man! Walmart cashier smiling despite the rage from someone standing in her line when the light is clearly off? I see you and I appreciate you! Mother of 3 outside in public? Wow, your kids are amazing and so are you!

Complimenting others is just about the most fun you’ll have with life lessons. Just try it and see what a great time you have!

I’m actually doing this!! I never thought I could but I am!

My husband ran the last two laps with me which means he saw the craziest side of me there is. At the end of a race or hard project or bad day, I talk to myself. I say all sorts of inspirational stuff to myself. The Bear Bait 50 Miler was no exception.

“Wow! I’m really going to finish! I’m tired and cranky but I feel so alive. Be proud, Liz! Holy crap, I am almost done. Can you believe it? C’mon Liz. You can do it. You ARE doing it. Let’s go!”

This is verbatim, I kid you not. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a pep talk. If you aren’t going to motivate yourself, who will? Look inside yourself and trust there is an amazing, accomplished WARRIOR in there and you can release it with a little bit of willpower and belief! Prove those Doubting Toms in your head wrong and work hard to get what you want! This may be the most important life lessons you learn!

Doubting Tom Face

I honestly never thought I’d be able to run 50 miles. Not even on race day. Not even 3 hours in on race day. But I did, because I just kept telling myself I could. There isn’t anything in me that is different than you. I simply have learned to engage the power of positivity.

I don’t really push myself to run anymore, I’m pulled.

Again, 50 miles. Never in a million years did I think I’d be running 50 miles.

I’ve always had an on again off again love affair with running. I look back at the last 12 months or so and feel gratitude that I was able to rekindle my love for it. I’ve run more in that time than I probably have in the last ten years.

A year ago I was just beginning to use running as a means back to happiness and now running has propelled me into pure joy. I am no longer pushing myself to run; running is pulling me towards the road day in and day out, and as you know, pulling is a much stronger action than pushing .

See how excited I am to run a half marathon by myself? Find your pull!


I hope all of you are able to find your pull. Whether it be running or something else, don’t be afraid to fall so deeply in love with something JUST FOR YOU that it literally pulls you out of bed in the morning. I am so grateful for my pull.

Love these life lessons?

Comment to let me know what lessons in life you’ve learned! And don’t forget to share with your friends! 

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37 thoughts on “6 Life Lessons from Running

  1. Good for you Liz! My goal starting out this year was to get a workout in 3-5x a week. At first it was harder to get in and get going, but now I feel like you, my day is not complete without my workout! Glad you are in an area where you can run year round! I can’t wait for it to warm up some more so I can get back to running outside rather than in a gym!

  2. nice to have a hobby wher you spend time alone but have others around you I like your drive though i’m yet to get excited over running so far, congrats and I hope you continue to find joy in it.

  3. Impressive! I’ve only ever driven 50 miles, so doing it all on foot is awesome! But your lessons are also great life lessons, especially the one about not burning out. I keep reminding myself about that with my blogging. I want to be successful at it, but I need to remember its a marathon and not a race, so I should pace myself.

    1. Christy, blogging has me burnt out constantly! I am trying to pace myself but ugh! It is hard! I guess I should start chanting your words in my head “It’s not a race. It’s a marathon. It’s not a race…”

  4. Wow, very impressive! I don’t even have the patience or energy to “drive” 50 miles. I love how positive you are and how you wove your story of running between real life situations. I really need to discover my own pull. Thanks for the motivation to do so.

    1. haha Driving 50 miles is much less fun than running it, to me! Thanks for the writing compliment and I hope you find your pull! Let me know if I can help with that.

  5. Whoa, congratulations! Did you do this in one day, or over the two day weekend? I love that you’ve found your “pull”, and that your happiness level has been boosted by rekindling your passion for running. It’s such an inspiring story, and really phenomenal that you ran that far.

    1. Thanks Kirstie. I ran the 50 miles in one day. It took 14 hours and one minute. Yes, running has really helped me find the joy in life!

  6. Holy cow, your distance is amazing! I am so inspired now and can’t wait to get off work and shake some dust out there! Also, “Slow down, put your phone out of reach, and breathe” is such good advice! Thank you for the inspiration and great post!

    1. Thanks Bex!I hope you have a good evening after work and yes, it’s always good advice to get away from your phone! haha

  7. This is awesome! YOU are awesome! I run too but I’m severely out of shape at the moment. I tried to go for a run the other day. Thought it would help if I imagined a rabid dog was chasing me. It didn’t help. Your post has me motivated!

    1. Thanks Vicki! I always think about the times someone was nice to me when I was struggling and it gives me the pep I need to pass on the love.

  8. Other than having cranky knees – and the answer there is, as you said, “Walkin ain’t so bad – I have no excuse for the way I resist getting out and exercising. I can and do, on a near-daily basis, force myself to do some kind of video workout. But this post highlights a key difference between those videos and running or walking.

    I think the thing that brings potential mental health benefits (alone time with my brain) is the same thing that makes me loathe monotonous walks in the unwelcoming suburban subdivision where I currently live. Yet I will walk all day long in a forest or on a mountain. But right now, when it’s difficult to work those settings into daily life, is when I need the attitude adjustment. Total first world problem.

    Thanks for providing food for thought, Liz.

    1. You’re welcome.
      I find getting started with exercise is SO HARD! I did very little training for this race because I was just so dang unmotivated, but come race day? Oh, it was on! Oh, and videos are better than sitting around. Great job!

  9. I am not a runner, but I have stood many times at the finish line and been inspired. It’s more than running…it is an accomplishment. It is a goal set and met. It is a beautiful thing to see the faces of people that have put themselves through the challenge and made it. I have felt honored just to cheer along with them! Life is about facing challenges and really getting to know yourself and what you can really do. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Aww that is so sweet! Yes, I met a lot of friends at the finish line. It was a looped race so I “crossed the finish line” 13 times and it felt so good to have all those people cheering me on all day long. It took me 14 hours and it was so amazing to see the people that were there in the morning, still there at night.

  10. I love this. I learned so much about myself and my view of life changed ever since I started running. Thank you for supplying fun reading for my morning train ride. Keep them coming.

  11. I like that it’s okay to slow down and take a break for a moment. I need to do that sometimes. I also agree that it’s important to pat others on the back. I try to do that with the students I’m subbing for.

  12. Yeap “Just keep swimming” as Dory would say and you will reach any goal you put your mind too. You are a geat inspiration to me and I look forward to reading your posts each week.

    1. Thanks Heather! This blogging thing can be hard but when I’m ready to just throw in the towel, I remember comments like this. I seriously appreciate you!

  13. I love your zest for life and positive attitude. I live for those 2 minute reboots. 😉 I think it is awesome what you are accomplishing through running. Kudos and Happy Tuesday!

    1. Thanks Valerie.
      I feel beyond blessed to have this opportunity to push and she what happens. Your blog lilacandlyme.com is a great inspiration to me when I’m feeling down!

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