For the third year in a row, my bestie, Sakura, and I ran in Grandma’s Half Marathon (It’s actually the Gary Bjorkland Half Marathon, but not many people are familiar with it by that name). I have been training more this year than in the past years, and I had hoped to get my time down to under 2 hours. And my official time for this year was 1:53:36! Goal Accomplished! And now I can retire…
I was thinking back to when I first started running, and how I struggled to run even one mile. I spent a lot of time alternating between running and walking, with more time spent on the walking side of things. When Sakura first suggested that I sign up for a 5k, I was excited by the idea, but not sure that I would be able to run for that long. Even in high school, I never ran that far. But I chose a 5k and started training. I would like to tell you that every run I did better and better, but it doesn’t work like that for me. Over time I got better, but some runs were amazing, and I felt like I could keep going, and some runs were horrible, and I couldn’t wait for them to be finished. And that’s still true for me today. This time around training, almost all of my runs over 8 miles were a struggle, and sadly, I ended up walking a lot more than I had wanted to. Oddly, my final two runs before the race were also extremely difficult. And they were both only around two miles!
What I’ve learned from running is that it’s mostly mental. It’s so easy to just give up, walk, and never do any actual running. But if you really want to run, you just have to stick with it and keep going, even when you really want to quit. Nick, my husband, is a great example of this. He HATES running…with a PASSION. (He’s not shy about telling people this when they ask him how his run went.) But he wants to stay fit, and he sees running as a good option for that end goal. While I do enjoy most of my runs, I think every one is painful for him. I think he tackles running like he would tackle a chore. It needs to get done, so he just does it. Some days when I really don’t want to get out of bed, I look to him for inspiration, suck it up, and go run!
I think almost anything in life can be tackled in that same way. Set up a schedule, stick to it, make it a habit, and then, eventually, it will just become something that you do. Now I just need to learn to rein myself in and limit that to about three things. I can’t do everything, but I want to!