My runnaversary is the month of my birthday – the first day of February – so I always get excited and nostalgic about it, even if I am getting a year older. This year is a landmark: 5 years. Five years ago, I never thought I’d make it to 5 years, honestly. I had started and stopped so many times and for so many reasons.
I gave up. Why?
It was difficult. It was cold. It was hot. It was early. I was tired. I had babies. I had a boyfriend… a husband… and, well, he didn’t run, so I didn’t run. Partying was more fun. Excuses… excuses… excuses… I had a million of ’em.
What made it stick this time? I honestly don’t know… Dogged determination? My infamous stubbornness? (stop laughing, those who know me personally…) The fact that I realized I was the same age my mom was when she passed away and that was WAY younger than I ever thought? The fact that I finally felt good for the first time in my life… ever? That I (generally) slept better? The fact that I was going through emotional hell and I needed an outlet? that I wanted to be a good example to my boys? That it made me look (marginally) better? That I could get away with eating more carbs (which I love… and later turned on me, so I have remedied that…) That I’m stronger now than I ever was in my twenties? Probably a little bit of all those things.
With the prodding of my inspiration, I started thinking bigger – he was the devil on my shoulder, so to speak, saying “eh… you’ve done 4, you can do 6.2…” and “eh… you’ve done 6.2, you can do 13.1…” That “devil” has been my salvation at the end of it, though. He’s one of the biggest reasons I started setting goals, and one of the biggest supporters I’ve ever had. I try to pay that back – with dividends – to my friends who are newer runners, runners who are starting to branch out to bigger goals, or are injured and getting back at it. It is amazing to me how far a few words of encouragement can take you, and I have never, ever forgotten that… which is why I mention it every year.
Pay it forward, friends – even if it isn’t running. Encouragement means a lot. A wave or a nod or a smile or a “awesome job” while you’re at the gym or on the trails can make someone’s day.
This year, my personal goals are huge – way bigger than ever before and I’m kind of scared of them, but I’m working hard (ran 9 awesome miles today) and, though I know it will be tough, I think I can do it… I want to run a full marathon, and I’d love to finish it in under 4 hours. Even better: I’d love to see how close I can get to that magical number of 3:45:00, the time I’d need to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I want to get faster at the Half Marathon distance, and I want to knock out at least 4 states this year, but all of them have to be in the second half of the year because I’m not even thinking about anything past the Raleigh Rock and Roll on April 13. I’ll need about a month to recover fully, and then I have finances to think about… so I’m looking at trying to squeeze one in at the end of May and possibly one in June and then bam, bam, bam in the fall.
We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted 🙂
Until then, enjoy the rest of your training week – I’ll check back in this weekend when I’ve finished the nutso-15 miler… I can’t wait to tell you how that goes – haha.
Have a great night!