Updated: Apr 25, 2019
In 2014, I made my bucket list. What originally read "Run A Marathon" transformed into "Run A Half Marathon" once I reminded myself of how much I know I hate running. Here's how this yogi-run-despiser turned into a half-marathoner. Hint: There's a surprising turn of events in here somewhere.
HAHA! I laugh every time. Sitting down to write out my bucket list was a super intentional moment. I added items that I definitely wanted to accomplish in my earthly life i.e get married, buy a house, have kids. But I also knew I wanted to add a few things that would be a stretch for me to accomplish and that which would challenge me, i.e run a (half) marathon, get certified to teach fitness classes, etc.
So with this whole blog being about bucket list item 13, run a half marathon, let me preface this by stating: I do not like running. In middle school, "mile Tuesday" was my most dreaded day of the week in athletics. It was the day I always told my mom to book my doctor appointments and *gasp* I was only sick on Tuesdays.
Remembering this, I knew it'd be a struggle for me to get in marathon training without absolutely hating myself in the process. So the only logical thing to do was to cut the race in half. Thus, running a half marathon became the new lucky number thirteen.
Tips for training:
1. Get pants or a shirt/jacket that have a zipper pocket. Use this for your car or house key so you don't have to hold on to it during your run. 2. Have an accountability partner - either a friend to run with or someone to get excited with you, for you. 3. Mentally prepare and create a plan.
4. Know that it can be a full-time job.
5. Find a podcast to listen to. The runs get longer, so you'll get tired of listening to the same playlist.
6. Invest in a good, possibly new pair of running shoes and socks.
7. Don't take more than two days in a row off of running.
Thoughts during training:
One month in:
I’ve found a new love of running. The feeling after you're done with a long run is unbeatable. The blisters have started. But I think my body is finally acclimating. Training with a friend is SO much easier, accountability is cool. I'm not sure how I convinced my coworker to also run, but changing up the scenery and running around Lady Bird Lake in the afternoon is refreshing. I’m still trying to figure out nutrition with running. I've learned how important it is to ride the valleys, but persevere up the hills. Just like in life.
Two months in:
This is about the point that you may feel like giving it up. The runs get longer, your extra time feels shorter. Keep going. This time period in the training is the exact reason I recommend an accountability partner. I've actually noticed that these long runs have helped with my endurance in yoga classes though. Taking days off are good if you need it, but I have felt the effects in my runs and my body when I take more than two days off at a time.
Two weeks out: I’m ready for it to be over now. As an enneagram 1, we're perfectionists. This is great in the sense that if I tell you I’ll do something, I will do it. But it’s hard in the sense that if I say I’m going to do something and I don’t do it to my belief of "perfect", I feel like a failure. And lately I’ve been feeling that way. I had my dad write me a training plan to gauge what my mileage should look like each week. I haven’t been able to get all my runs in and there’s even been occasions where I haven’t wanted to get all of my runs in, which leaves me feeling like I’m going to fail. I’ve called my dad several times through this training, my favorite accountability buddy. He tells me I’ll be okay. Sometimes you just need a voice outside of your own to reassure you.
OKAY SO HERE IS WHERE IT GETS GOOD!
Fun fact: I’ve never been injured before in my life. The extent of my relationship with our high school's trainer was that I'd go into her office for pre-wrap to make into a headband for my volleyball game.
Sunday, February 10th, 2018, I woke up knowing I needed to officially sign up seeing as it was a week away from the big race. I found myself in the Austin Marathon shopping cart purchasing my entrance when something told me not to just yet. Instead, I reached out on social media asking for a discount code.
I set out on my Sunday training run and not long into it, I began noticing how heavy and lethargic my body was feeling. I attributed it to the gigantic puffer jacket I had on and the previous weekend's Bachelorette partying. I hit mile 4 and this pain set into my left knee like nothing I'd felt before. Remember me? Pre-wrap headband girl? I told myself to push through the pain and it may go away. However...by mile 5 I was limping and was seconds away from collapsing. So I stopped. I pressed paused on my FitBit for what would be my last time. I called my dad right away and I was in tears, 10% due to the adrenaline pumping through my body, 5% due to the pain, but 85% due to the fact that I knew right then and there that was it for this run and training.
In a way, I feel as though I can relate to my friends struggling through infertility right now. That's weird, I know. Just hear me out.
I am not in any way trying to dismiss or belittle my friends' feelings AT ALL and I know this is very much not infertility, miscarriage, or related to motherhood. However, I do now know what it feels like to get your hopes up for something and it doesn't come to fruition. Or, to feel like you've got a plan, you know how it's going to play out, and it doesn't look anything like that. And to just be SAD.
The following week had me limping up my stairs, waking up every time I moved in my sleep, and out of any and all exercise. After my parents passionately convincing me to visit the doctor, I was informed that it's a good ol' case of tendinitis.
All in all, I'm still crossing this off my bucket list. I won't have a cool picture with a medal at the finish line, but I did the training and had most of the experience for it. I'll never know if there was something else God was saving me from instead. I was telling my dad that I could've been driving back Saturday and gotten in a car accident where I broke my leg. I mean, extreme. But I choose to just trust that the Lord was looking out. That's all you can do.