July 15, 2011
He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions. - Louisa May Alcott
A little over a year ago, I was convinced to sign up for my first half marathon. My first road race. I was not a runner, had no desire to partake in hours of pounding the pavement, and I could not understand why people were so into it. Give me my elliptical and I'll be fine. But I wasn't fine. I was soft around the edges, unhappy in life, and dealing with chest pain, but somehow I still (reluctantly) agreed, half expecting myself to quit before the race.
The first training day arrived, and on my very beginner schedule it had 2 miles. This terrified me, but I made it through on the treadmill. Then began my phobia of running outside. The mental blocks went up, and I would have an extremely difficult time accomplishing the mileage anytime I was not on the treadmill. Then something inside clicked into place. My heart pain was minimal, I was able to run outside, I was getting in shape, and my mood was vastly improved. That was all it took. Hooked.
One year ago I would have never predicted that I could complete a half marathon, nor would I have thought I could motivate people to change their lives and get back on track through running. I would never have guessed that I would be where I am today...with a half marathon, full marathon, tough mudder, relays waiting in the midst.
I couldn't have imagined the friendships that would form, the bonds reinforced through shared miles. I didn't think I would convince friends who hadn't run before to join me. I never imagined running would be the source of my crying more so than crying over men.
I've only just begun...and I haven't yet completed the full marathon, but I still find myself searching for what lies after.
Muddy Marathon in NJ (probably just the half... www.njtrailseries.com)
North Face Endurance
Flying Pig Marathon
DC Tough Mudder
Dances With Dirt 100k Relay (www.dwdhell.com)
Sometimes all you need is someone to believe in you when you're having trouble believing in yourself. Mileage gets tough, as I'll find out in Monster Month of my marathon training plan (September is apparently going to be intense)...but positive, encouraging moods are contagious. One day I'm crying, and the next day I have three new races I want to sign up for.
I don't think I say thank you enough to my friends who put up with all the complaining I do, all the phone calls after a run of me sobbing about how much I suck, all the health talk, the missed phone calls at 9pm because I went to bed at 8:30pm, all my attempts to convince people to join my madness.
So thank you Gabe, for getting me started a year ago. Thanks to everyone else who has run with me, dealt with me, boosted me up...it's a very important aspect of my life, and I appreciate your tolerance :)
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
Sept 18: Philly R'n'R Half
Oct 15: Baltimore Relay
Oct 23: VA Tough Mudder
Oct 30: MCM
Dec: Hot Chocolate 15k/5k