Half Marathon Training, Phish Lyrics, and 6 Life Lessons

Written by
Caroline Meyer
Caroline Meyer
multiple authors
Updated on
July 2, 2024 5:53 PM
Life lessons learned from training for a half marathon, as told by Phish lyrics.

At redpepper, everyone in the company gives a redbit—an 8-minute TED-style share, where we can tell the company about any topic we’re interested in or learning. After all, one of the best ways to learn is to teach.

When I started thinking about my redbit topic, Phish was the first thing on my mind. But I realized 8 minutes is not even enough time for one song—let alone lessons from all 140 Phish shows I’ve attended. Then, I started thinking about my half marathon training I completed recently and all of the life lessons I had acquired that I’ve continued implementing. And I thought, “Why not combine them?”

I present to you the slightly complicated but very niche topic of life: lessons from my half marathon training, as told by Phish lyrics.

Lesson 1: “Whatever you do, take care of your shoes.”

(Lyric from the song “Cavern”)

When I started my running journey, I had no idea what I was doing. I couldn’t run for a minute straight, had incorrect shoes, and quickly learned running in cotton shirts and socks in the Nashville summer heat was the WORST idea. Once I talked to people who had more experience than I did, I learned exactly what I needed to do to be successful and not miserable—that meant getting fitted for the right shoes, learning about hydration, slowing down, and taking it one run at a time.

Life lesson: Having the right tools, humbling myself, and consulting with people who know more than me ultimately sets me up for success. I haven’t always been the best about admitting I don’t know everything. But I quickly remembered that it’s ok to not know everything, especially when starting out, and it’s ok to not be good at everything right away. 

There is someone out there with more experience that can help—all you have to do is ask. 

Lesson 2: “Surrender to the flow.”

(Lyric comes from the song “The Lizards”)

I love to be in control of my own destiny, and I like results to appear quickly and with ease. So when our beginner running group started training and none of us could run for more than 1 minute straight, I was frustrated and defeated. I thought about giving up because it didn’t come naturally to me. Instead, I let go, surrendered to the training plan, and I was able to run almost 300 miles during my training period.

Life lesson: Trust the process. Not everything is going to happen on my time. Good things and hard things take patience, practice and perseverance. Eventually that hard thing (like running a mile straight) becomes easier and you start to say obnoxious things like “I’m JUST running five miles today.”

Lesson 3: “Keep what’s important and know who's your friend.”

(Lyric from the song “Theme from the Bottom”)

In true only child fashion, I like to do things by myself. Running seemed like a natural fit for that because it is not a team sport. However, I quickly realized the importance of community and support when it comes to staying accountable and motivated. Without an ongoing group message, there is no way I would have stuck with this. It was hot, I couldn’t breathe, and I’d never done this before. 

Life lesson: Accountability buddies are crucial when it comes to forming new habits. Telling someone what you’re doing helps you stick to it, and having a community working towards the same goal as you helps push you through the hard times. 

More importantly, having all of your friends show up and support you on race day is the best demonstration of support and reminder that it takes a village to get through most things. Just when I would think about giving up on my race, someone would appear on the sidelines and cheer me on—just like in life. 

Lesson 4: “This time is gonna be different.”

(Lyric from the song “Kill Devil Falls”)

I quickly learned not every run is the same, regardless of how many times I’ve done that distance or run that route. Some days it was super hard, some days I felt like I could go on forever. It was humbling and a good reminder that the only constant is change. 

Life lesson: When things feel really hard, they won’t be that way forever. And just because you have a bad day, or a bad meeting, or a bad run, doesn’t mean you are inherently bad at that task (no matter what your brain tells you). 

Some days just don’t go your way, and that’s ok. The important thing is to show up even after that bad day. With time and practice, the bad runs and bad things become less frequent and you recover quicker. 

Lesson 5: “Just relax, you're doing fine.”

(Lyric from the song “Strange Design”)

It’s very much in my nature to sensationalize everything. To tell myself I can’t do something, that it’s too hard, that it hurts too badly, that it’s too damn hot, and that I’m going to fail. These were things I’d tell myself during training. But that’s simply not true.

Life lesson: Don’t beat yourself up. As the old quote goes, “It’ll all be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.” Just relax, every item on your to do list will eventually be done, every hard and scary meeting will eventually pass. And you’ll be proud of yourself that you just showed up. 

Lastly, lesson 6: “Party time.”

(Lyric from the song fittingly titled “Party Time”)

At the end of the day, the half marathon was really the celebration of all of my hard work. A demonstration that I showed up for myself, put in the time and all of that work paid off. 

Life lesson: Enjoy the journey, don’t just focus on the destination. The journey is full of tons of life lessons and hard moments and easy moments and big and little wins. No matter how the race goes, finishing is all that matters. And when you do finish, you’ll have a group of people with signs telling you how much they love you and how proud they are of you. 

And that makes it all worth it. 


At the end of the day, in the wise and profound lyrics of Phish’s song “Run Like an Antelope”  “Run, run, run, run, run, run.” Just keep going as you work towards your goals.

As a bonus—here’s the Spotify playlist I’ve created of these corresponding songs: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7HfsXcifrt02ytnfJUyJVm?si=786e80f867e945e1

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