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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bryant chapter.

As I was sitting completely alone in my tiny sublet in South Boston over the summer not knowing what to do or where to go, I had a strange thought come to mind. Why not train for a half marathon?

The idea wasn’t completely random; I had been running intermittently through the years. After playing field hockey and running track in high school, I decided to focus more on weight training in college with a couple of days of short runs. Being in a city alone and not wanting to spend money on another shopping spree, I incorporated more days of running through the streets and exploring what I could while exercising. Some of my coworkers at my internship were also into running and told me about races they had done. So, it really just became a challenge.

I called my parents shortly after and told my dad I wanted him to run it with me and he agreed. So, in the beginning of August, I began training to run 13.1 miles on October 1st.

The training itself was challenging at times, but the most challenging part was the mentality it took. It’s difficult running for an hour to 2 hours straight stuck only with your thoughts. But, I realized how much it bettered my mental health.

Yes, training for a half marathon changes your body–but it changed my mindset more. I felt like I could think more clearly, be more present, and take that time to get into a meditative state. Now running is not for everybody, but I finally understood why so many people are obsessed with it. It felt like self-care in some strange way. In the end, the best part was being able to also complete this with my dad. Nothing like 13.1 miles of father-daughter bonding!

Regardless, I think everyone should challenge themselves in some way. I learned a lot from this experience and it gave me purpose and drive. How can you challenge yourself now?

Alum of Her Campus at Bryant University. I held the role of president for our Her Campus chapter.