There are tons of chances to run a half-marathon in SWFL!

Debating if you want to go the distance?  These 13.1 reasons to run a half marathon are sure to tip you over the edge. Get ready to run!

#1: Reaching a new goal – Few things feel as good as achieving a goal you have set for yourself. Especially one that takes the time and heart that running hard does.

#2: Bling – Hello, race medals. Races have been getting all kinds of crazy with the medals over the past few years. Some have removable jewelry, some have moving parts, some are bottle openers. Start a new collection for 2014!

#3: Meeting new people – I have met some incredible friends through running. They are inspirational and a huge source of motivation.

#4:  Catching a great sunrise – one of my very favorite aspects of training and racing is the sunrise. Best time of day and only those up and out early enough get to enjoy.

#5: Bonding with friends/spouses – Sweating through a workout together can bring people closer. A couple hours is a lot of time to chat and learn more about each other. My husband and I have talked over and made some pretty big decisions while running – including getting married!

#6:  Eye candy – Running behind an in-shape guy with no shirt or fit woman in running shorts is never a bad thing. Might even motivate you to run faster to keep up…

#7: PR- Every new distance is automatically a personal record. Enough said! PR’s are the best!

#8: A healthy heart – Heart disease and obesity related diseases are a leading cause of death in our country. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week. That is easily knocked out with a half marathon training plan!

#9: Endorphins – In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy…” Research has shown that exercise can boost your mood. It isn’t called a “runner’s high” for nothing!

#10: Training – I like schedules. One of my favorite things to do before a training cycle is sit down and write out every workout on my calendar. Most people don’t bring the same level of crazy, but having a specific training plan can help keep you in shape and reach your goals.

#11: Excuse to do a little shopping – New running shoes or cute workout clothes can always be a motivator to work out a little more. Show ‘em off while you sweat it out at the gym.

#12: Desserts!/Pizza!/Burgers! (insert favorite food here) – Most people have a celebratory meal or food after races. Something you don’t eat just every day, but can really enjoy and not feel guilty after putting in some serious mileage

#13: Two words, celebratory cocktails! Mimosas and/or Bloody Marys taste extra delicious after a race!

#0 .1 – You are halfway to a marathon