Today I embarked on a journey. Not just any journey. Today I set out to run 10 miles. 10 long miles. Prior to this run, my longest run has been a 10k (6.2 miles). My training hasn't been what it should be for my upcoming half marathon. So most of the morning I was sick just thinking about 10 miles.
As I got to the race, I was a little more at ease with some of my friends surrounding me, and my sister runs with me so it was nice to know she would be by my side. As they signaled us to start I just went. The first mile as always was the hardest. Having my sister next to me helped, the rolling monster hills did not. We surpassed water stop #1 and kept going. At an 11:07 mile pace I was feeling good. Water stop #2 is upon us and as always I pour half of it down my front and keep going. There are TONS of training programs out there, where in the hell is the program to teach me how to not look like a complete ASS while downing my water at the water stops???
We hit mile 3 and I am cramping down both sides. But walking is not an option. As we are approaching the end of mile 3, we start seeing others running towards us. The people leading the race blow past us towards their last 3 miles. It is amazing to see how far and fast so many people can run. It is amazing, but it also reminds me how slow I am :)
Thank God for having my sister by my side because we chatted throughout the race which help silence the inner voice SCREAMING at me to walk. We approach mile 4 and my ankle starts to hurt. The distance weighs heavily on it.
As we hit mile 7, I look at Taryn and say "I don't know if my body is made to run 10 miles." She laughs and says "It better be because we have 13.1 in a few weeks" It is then that I remind myself of my favorite Vince Lombardi quote:
“The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.”
This is my case is COMPLETELY true. I am a "new runner" as I have only been running since the end of August. 7 mos. When I first started running I was 225 pounds. Running a minute straight was hard, hell it damn near killed me for weeks. Many times as I was running those minute stretches I wanted to quit. Or throw up, or cry. I wanted to hide under a rock. Ashamed of what I had become. What I didn't think I could be. I certainly wasn't a runner. I was a "heavy set girl" struggling with fitness, becoming a new mommy and life in general.
We have all been there, right? Maybe not in the same way I was. But we have all felt inferior at some point, right? That we would never achieve a goal that we were working hard to achieve? That we would never lose those last 5 pounds? Or we would never get the promotion we deserve? Face it we aren't perfect. We make mistakes. But it is what you do with those mistakes or the self doubt. That is what matters most.
What did I do with my self doubt? Well as a mommy, I consider it a success every day that Jayce and I make it through another day without a major issue, that is a successful day!! Maybe we have bumps along the way, and maybe motherhood is hard, but you do your best. And at the end of the day you move on. My son is happy, healthy and hitting all of his milestones. He wakes up smiling and loves his mommy and daddy, WIN!
As a dieter, I realize that I will have a bad day here and there. Some days those brownies are stronger than my willpower. Sometimes I walk or exercise to make up for the brownies, and you know what? Some days I don't!!!! But I go to bed knowing that tomorrow is a new day and I move on!!
As a runner, I had to learn that it isn't about being fast, it is about FINISHING. I set goals but they were goals that were fairly lenient. I had to learn that at 225 pounds, I wouldn't be able to just pound out 10 miles and I would have to work hard. And hard is a word that doesn't BEGIN to describe my journey as a runner. And the fact is, I may be able to go longer but that doesn't mean it is easy by ANY stretch. But, I continue to work harder. I want to see what this body will do. And I want to feel a sense of accomplishment when I push further than I ever have before.
And that drive is what pushed me to finish today. At mile 8 we went through another water stop and I decided I will finish this with pride and while still running. Then came the last 1/4-1/2 mile of big rolling hills. I will admit to a 10 second walk break on one of them. Then I picked it up and decided to finish strong. Yes, I DECIDED! My body was NOT in control here, I was! PERIOD! The last 1/8th of a mile took everything I had. I picked up my pace and finished strong. I was so proud! Even prouder that I finished up just a few seconds shy of 2 hours. My goal was 2hours and 15 minutes. And I blew that out of the water. In January, I completed a 10k with a 12:25 per mile pace. I figured with nearly doubling that distance, my pace would be closer to 12:45 per mile this race. NEVER did I think I could pull of a 12:00 mile pace, I know my body certainly didn't think it could!! I was on a "high" most of the day. As that wore off, the soreness rolled on in. Now I can barely walk up the stairs and even THAT makes me smile. That tells me that I PUSHED!! That I truly gave it my best!!
I have come a long way since August!!!! 10 miles today, 13.1 in a few weeks, I say BRING IT! :)
Weigh in tomorrow morning, send me some skinny vibes please!!!