I am not a runner. I never wanted to be. However, I am goal oriented and I love to push myself outside of my comfort zone. So when Matt and I learned we were moving to the UK and would be living in the back of the pub, I figured I needed to take action to keep myself motivated.
I took the leap and signed us up for a half marathon in April and a full in May. I finished my half and I wanted to write to reflect and maybe just maybe inspire someone else to take the leap. I truly believe if I can do it, anyone can.
My training plan is this: ONE STEP AT A TIME.
I quickly realized that I will never be fast and it will never be “easy” for me. I am the back of the pack trying and the only person I am up against is myself. Sometimes, my runs turn into walks. I have days that I question if I should quit. Not just training for the marathons but running period. Somewhere along the way, my body got stronger and my mind more determined.
I showed up not sure how I felt about it. Really out of place and telling myself I wasn’t a runner so I wasn’t sure what I was doing there. As the time got closer and they told the runners to report to the starting line, I was in no hurry and was still questioning myself. Thankfully I had scheduled a quote reminder earlier that morning that reminded me what it was all about.
When I started running, it felt like a big party. People lined the street cheering. There were cheerleaders and bands posted along the entire route. When I saw mile marker 8, I got inside my own head. Usually that is when I struggle the most. We had a huge hill to climb after that sign and I went for it. I thought for sure I was going to stay strong. Then around mile 10, it hit me. All the self doubt, the feeling of defeat, the struggle was very real from mile 10 to about 12.5. I only let myself walk a few hundred yards and had to keep reminding myself I could do it. At that point, it was one step at a time. I could do it, right?
Eventually I got to the sign that said 800 meters. At that point I knew. I had done it. My self confidence came flooding back to me and although it was mid climb, I took off. I would see a person in front of me and my goal became to pass them. All I knew is I didn’t want anyone to pass me, especially not someone twice my age, or half my age (not discriminating here) or the ones who ran in a costume the ENTIRE race. It was a sprint to the finish… No one was getting by!!! AND….no one did.
Here is what I learned so far though. I am better than all the miles I never tried to run. I am stronger for all the days I got out there and ran when I didn’t feel like it. Stronger for the toenails lost. Stronger for sacrificing my old way of thinking for new ones. Stronger for trying. While I will never be fast, I will be strong. You can be too!!