A few moths ago, I published a list of to-do items that I wished to complete before the end of my twenties. Today I get to scratch off one of those items.
6. Run a Half Marathon.
Back in October, I was barely fitting into my pants, my shirts were stretched out due to my waist expanding, and this was all due to my poor nutrition and extreme laziness. So I decided to stop complaining about it and to do something before it got out of control. Growing up, running was my outlet. It calmed me. It let me escape the world around me and think for myself. It also kept me in the best shape. So I started slowly getting back on the trails. When I first started back I could run about three miles (8:30/mile pace) without stopping.
After two weeks of the beginning of my training, I set out a running plan that would help me get to the mileage and pace that I wanted. So I did it! I got up early mornings, or late evenings and chased my goals. As time went on my old clothes were too large, my body was returning to the size that I had missed. I slept better, ate better, and overall was happier than I had been in a long time.
After a month of training I singed up for the Texas Half Marathon to give myself a deadline for my goals. I had a few months to get myself back in to the shape I wished to be and stopped at nothing until I got there. Don’t let me fool you…this was hard. I had days where I would sit on my couch convincing myself to just to stop. As easy as that would have been, I remembered what happened the last time I gave up…so I endured.
Fastforward to this week. I was mentally prepping myself for the race. I was’t too worried only because I had been running 5+ miles a day. Then Monday happened. I made a not so smart decision to do interval workouts and somewhere in the mix I pulled a muscle in the back of my leg. This caused me not to run all week…I told myself I was fine, but on the inside I was terrified that it would hinder me from crossing off one of my to-do items.
This morning I got ready, looked at myself in the mirror and gave myself a pep talk and was on my way to the race. As I stood in the crowd of runners who were eager to start, I knew that I wasn’t going to just run this to run…I wanted to see how hard I could push myself. So as the gun went off, everyone made there ways through the flood of people. It took me about a mile to break away from the cluster of people and my legs were feeling great. Around mile 4 I had positioned myself in what I thought was the Top 15, I glanced out and had my eyes on a group of three that I would work to pass in the upcoming mile. As I approached the next mile I started to feel a familiar pain in my leg that I had experienced all week. Trying to stick to my plan of catching the three in front of me I ignored the pain and kept going. The minute I passed the runners a sharp pain consumed my entire lower leg, (it felt like a severe “charlie horse”) and caused me to slow down…my mind told to stop, just give up, that’s it I still had 8 miles to go. Trying not to focus on the pain I redirected my thoughts to why I had signed up for the race in the first place. I focused on myself a few months earlier and the mean things I said when I looked at my reflection in the mirror. So…I endured. I slowed my pace allowing my leg to calm down and then found my pace (7:21/mile). I looped around one of the final curves and focused out ahead and before I knew it…I was sprinting across the finish line passing a few extra runners.
I finished in the Top 20 overall and placed 3rd in my division. I could not be more thrilled about the results. Our goals shouldn’t be easy, they should require us to push ourselves, and have endurance (especially through the rough times). So whatever your goal is…work, work hard and I promise you will be happy that you did.
Every step you take today will lead you to a better tomorrow, so make it count!
“You’re off to great places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting! So…get on your way!” Dr. Seuss