Five years ago, if you would have asked me if I would ever run over 2 miles, I would have laughed and probably said “absolutely not.” I actually remember during my senior year of high school, when my track coach registered me and another teammate to run 2 miles at our senior night track meet, how angry and upset I was with him. To show him just how furious we were, we purposely walked the first mile of the race so that the other schools would win. I hated distance running.
This year, I ran my 3rd half marathon. I PRed (set a personal record), and dropped almost 10 minutes from my first time set 3 years ago. I was ecstatic! What made the feeling even sweeter was that I thought I had done poorly. I thought my time was going to be awful; I was pretty sure I pulled a muscle in my lower leg, and I was freezing.
Lo and behold, the time was better then I had ever expected.
After moving to Columbus and spending a year of doing little work-outs in the gym, nothing to serious, I started to get my competitive urge back. I wanted to compete, and wanted to challenge myself, but didn’t really know how to The more I thought about it, I realized this was just the challenge I needed. I set a goal for myself to run the Nationwide Children’s Columbus Half Marathon in October of 2011, and that was it. There was no turning back. Thats what I love about goals.
I told my friends, told my family, printed out a training-schedule, posted my new decision on Facebook, did everything possible to make sure that if I backed out, I would be so embarrassed and ashamed.
There was no way I was going to turn back at that moment. I pushed myself, completed the training, learned the importance of discipline and perseverance. Come race day, I pushed myself to that finish line and took a look back at the 13.1 miles I had just completed. Now, 3 years later, I have completed my 3rd Columbus Half Marathon, and I am 10 minutes faster than I was 3 years ago. All that hard work, complaining, and discipline paid off, and I could not be more proud!
To anyone out there who feels like they can’t run the distance, wipe that thought from your brain and set a goal for yourself. Sometimes, you have to do things for yourself. The feeling of accomplishment that I get when I cross a finish line with thousands of other people is one of the most special and rewarding feelings I have ever experienced. Everyone is there to complete a common goal, but overall you are racing against yourself.
You are your biggest competitor. You decide how you do.
I am a very passionate girl (if you haven’t noticed). For me, being able to complete a half marathon with my dad, my boyfriend, with people from all over the world, and on behalf of children who have touched the lives of the thousands of people and weathered through bigger storms than many of us could imagine, is something that touches my heart and makes me smile each time I talk, think, or write about it.
Go make a goal, and go follow your dreams… I know you can do it!
What is your fitness goal? I would love to hear it, and maybe you will inspire someone else to do the same!