This weekend I accomplished one of my 2013 goals and ran in the Crystal Coast Half Marathon. I was so nervous, so pumped, so scared about the weather, so unsure of myself. But, I DID IT. It was an amazing run, and I am so grateful that I was healthy and able to accomplish this goal!
I did have a few personal goals for the race that I wasn't sure if I could accomplish:
1. I wanted to run the entire time. Other than stopping for water/bathroom breaks, I wanted to be running.
2. I wanted to stay on my fuel plan for the race, which meant staying mentally sharp and being aware of what I was consuming each mile.
3. I wanted to beat my personal record from last year's half marathon (2 hours 24 minutes)
A few weeks ago when I was at the most intense part of my training, I got bronchitis. I had just finished my 9 mile run, and I still had several long runs left to go - including the 10-miler that was my last long run before the race. Instead of training, I was weak as a dog, on my couch with a terrible cough and no voice! I was so discouraged. I did get out and force myself to run 2.5 miles when I had bronchitis, which I immediately regretted. I needed to rest and recover, which was really, really hard to do knowing this race was only weeks away! I gave up on my goals of beating my personal record and running the whole time, because I didn't believe I could do it. I didn't even know if I could run in the race.
[All photos taken by Will, of course!]
After 10 days of bronchitis, I was able to start running again the week of my race. When I talked to my coach, Bob, the Wednesday before the race, he told me to stop doubting myself and go for it. Go for all of my goals, and don't hold back.
But what if I can't do it? But what if I injure myself? But what if I get sick again? But what if it's raining?
While my doubts kept creeping in my mind, Bob just kept telling me that I could do it. That I was an athlete, that I had faithfully trained for this, and that I was able. The belief he had in me was all I needed to give it my best shot, despite my recent illness, and just go for it. Encouragement is so powerful. Believing in others, and telling them you believe in them, can change them. Calling others to a higher level can change their thinking and their attitude towards life. Bob's words did that for me. It was just what I needed.
I'm proud to say...
I ran the entire time.
I stayed on track with my fuel plan for the entire race, mile by mile.
And I beat last year's half marathon by almost 10 minutes, finishing at 2 hours and 16 minutes! (And that was in the rain, including all water and bathroom breaks!)
I love to run. This is honestly something that I never, ever thought I would be doing (much less enjoying!) in my life. I grew up as a kid who did not like sports, who did not enjoy running around or even breaking a sweat. I liked life calm and simple. Now, I can't get enough of it! And I'm going to start biking and swimming this year too. There's something about being active that makes you come alive - it's how we were created to be. And to be honest, the Lord speaks to me when I run... so clearly. It's amazing. I know that running has strengthened my relationship with Him. This race was so challenging and so rewarding this weekend, and I did it.
I must say a big, BIG thank you to my 2 biggest supporters throughout this weekend! Will and Winston surprised me throughout the race - probably at 6 or 7 different places - to encourage me, take photos, check on me, and cheer for me... all in the rain. Winston was all too eager to run with me, which was quite hilarious (and entertaining for the other runners)! And Will was such an amazing support: quoting scripture to me, reading encouraging texts from friends and family, asking if I needed anything. I was smiling SO big in all these photos because I was about to see him again. I love you so much, babe.
So, maybe you love your couch and love TV. Maybe you can't identify with this post at all because I'm one of those weird fitness-nuts now. But maybe you can identify with me before I started running - never interested in anything athletic or challenging. From one former non-athlete to another, let me just tell you: you can do this if you want to. It's not too late. I promise, if I can do it, so can you. Yes, it takes sacrifice and planning, but the reward is so worth it! No matter your goal, all you need is a good plan, hard work, and belief that you can accomplish it. Then just watch - you will accomplish it.
I did, and so can you.