The pictures finally came in from the Bass Pro Half Marathon I ran two weeks ago. I say this, as many other people have said to me, this is the one to beat. Bass Pro held a huge event and it went off without a hitch.
Have you ever had an off day and coincidentally a stranger says the exact thing you needed to hear?
Well, I am a little over a week away from running in my first half marathon, and the training has been long and grueling. *See below for accurate image of my running.
I’m going to be honest, there were days when all I wanted to do was take a nap. Okay fine, that was everyday. I did cheat a few times and skip a run, but that doesn’t mean I gave up.
I was half way through my 6-week training plan, when my motivation went downhill quickly. I’m a full time college student, working 3 jobs, training in my spare time, and trying to get at least 6 hours of sleep each night. Sounds impossible, right?!
I was beginning to get discouraged that I wouldn’t be ready in time, until this adorable older gentleman comes into the YMCA where I work, and tells me to answer a question for him:
“What is the most important thing you have full control over?”
I stood dumbfounded as I told him I didn’t know.
He said, “Self discipline. You gotta push yourself harder when you think you’ve done your best. You gotta wake up, and say you’ll do more today.”
How could he have known that I needed to hear exactly that to get my butt in gear for this race??
God is good, y’all, and he will sneak in those little wow moments where you need them most. I am now starting my tapering week, and next Sunday is the half marathon.
I have pushed myself harder and did more everyday. That older gentleman had no idea of the impact he had on me that day!
With the help of that older gentleman, and God’s amazing grace, I will finish this race, beat my personal record time, and get a pretty cool t-shirt from it.
“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
– Hebrews 12:1
I did something yesterday that I had previously thought would be impossible for me to do. I registered for my first half marathon!!!!
Crazy, right? A year ago, I would have been happy with simply crawling to 4 miles, but in 5 weeks, I will be a participant in the Bass Pro Cohick Half Marathon (and I will crawl to 13.1 miles).
How do you even survive a marathon is the first question I asked myself. Well, I reached out to a few long distance runners I know, and they gave me some pretty amazing advice. And I am here to pass that advice on to ANYONE who likes running, whether that may be a mile every two weeks, or 10 miles a day. A runner is a runner.
I work behind a desk.
Horrible start, I know, but I stand behind the front desk of a YMCA, and I watch in envy as people walk in and are able to move about freely and workout. I continue, though, typing in paperwork, answering the incoming calls, and managing the flow of members. I am so caught up in my little world behind the desk, that when I step outside to leave, it feels as though I’m taking my first real breath of the day.
There is a world happening around me, and I am selfish to acknowledge it.
I’m going to be honest, there are days when all I think about is the next thing I need to get done; rushing, hurrying to accomplish something. What I don’t take time to realize is, the world around me will continue to turn, the birds will still chirp in the mornings, and my life is a grain of sand compared to the billions of other lives on the planet. In short, the world will continue to revolve, whether I acknowledge it or not.
Why not breathe in every second you can?
I went running the other day, and in the middle of this grueling 8-mile run, I realized I hadn’t thought about anything the entire run- my mind was clear. (This rarely ever happens, by the way.) Usually, I run to relieve stress and I’m constantly thinking of that stressor throughout the whole run, but this run was different.
All I could think of during this run, was how beautiful the day was. I didn’t have a single thought about homework, student loans, work hours or the incessant pain resonating from my feet (begging me to stop, most likely.) I kept looking around at the parks I passed by, the happiness of dogs splashing in the lake, the breeze keeping me comfortably cool and being in awe of the beauty.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
I stopped thinking of the things I couldn’t control, and started thanking God for giving me legs to run with, giving me strength and endurance, and most of all for the day he so-beautifully made.
Some days, I believe it would be easier to sulk in my own moodiness, but I have to mentally kick myself in the hiney and remind myself that God did not put me on this planet, so I could hate half of my days on it.
Choose to be happier. Go outside and breathe in the almost-fall air. And most importantly, wake up with a thankful heart that God gave you another day on this planet.
If you’re a runner, you have already experienced what is called a “runner’s high”, and for those who haven’t, no, it doesn’t involve drugs. A runner’s high is when a runner experiences the feeling of being invincible, so to speak. The heart rate is up, your feet feel like they’re flying beneath you, and you feel as though you could run for hours. I. Love. This. Feeling.
Feet of a runner- blistered, worn down, aching, peeling, cracked, and sore. This is the life of a runner, and I couldn’t ask for anything better. Photo taken after an 8-mile run.
When you google the term “people running” (as I did for the picture in this post, you will find many pictures of super-smiley people who seem to be mid-stride.
Looking at these pictures makes me laugh. Call me skeptical, but the models in these pictures look a little too enthusiastic to be in the middle of a heart-pounding run.
Being a runner myself (never exceeding the mediocre amount of 5 miles) I have come to learn the true beauty of running. There isn’t any. This doesn’t simply account to just running. Any sport or physical activity that hard work deems necessary, won’t be easy, nor pretty.
Speaking for the runners everywhere, running does not look like the models in the photos above. Pshh, they make it look easy. If only that were the case, everyone would be a runner. Running means blistered feet, cracked heels, strained joints, shin splints, sweating profusely, and my favorite, the many tan lines from athletic watches.
Any activity requiring hard work, will have its not-so-beautiful aspects, but that is what drives us further. Athletes endure immense amounts of pain throughout their careers, doing what they love. For example, football players take on multiple bruises and concussions, runners get shin splints, weight lifters can have sprains or tears on any muscle. Being fit means putting in the work, day in and day out, simply because it is what you love doing.
I would gladly give up perfectly pedicured feet to be able to pound out some miles on the pavement. A few blisters couldn’t keep me away from a good-day’s run. So, if you are living the fit life, know that you are appreciated, because this stuff isn’t easy!