Let me just start by saying I am not a runner. I never have been. I don’t have a runner’s body. I do not glide, my feet stomp on the pavement. I usually avoid running at all costs. I don’t find it relaxing and sometimes every minute feels like an eternity. I love Crossfit and lifting weights and body movements and all things fitness. I loved doing the Spartan races. But running…nope. My my stomach would always turn when I saw a run programmed in the workout. I almost always was the last runner (hence my blog title foreverlastingymclass) and am always the last person in my family to roll through the Colony 5k finish line when my brother and sister are already on their second or third beer, and slice of pizza.
Okay you get the point– I hate running. But what I do love is challenging myself. Having a goal to work on, working on it, and achieving it. To me there is such an incredible feeling of thinking you “can’t” do something or something is “too hard” and then proving yourself wrong. Since my fitness journey started I have been able to hold myself accountable and to make mental and physical progress by challenging myself and setting goals.
So last year I decided I wanted to run a half-marathon. It was a fleeting thought. I was actually just scrolling through Facebook and saw an advertisement (I am a sucker for a good add) for the Atlantic City half-marathon. I figured, well if I am going to do a half-marathon, why not do one in a place I love! Then I went to register and saw that I could do it by raising money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Boom, there was my inspiration. I could run this marathon and raise money for a great cause. I clicked register and forgot all about it for a while. Maybe I’ll just not do it, it was only a thought.
Then one day I got a package in the mail. It was a thank-you from St. Jude for fundraising. It had a post card, a bag, and a water bottle. That was when I realized “Shit, I actually have to do this thing”. I started training in January and oof, the first few runs hurt. I was slow. The runs were agonizing. I was not confident. I downloaded a training plan for beginners and started to follow it. As much as it sucked, I kept going. I had committed to the goal and now I had to see it through. I booked two nights at Atlantic City and kept envisioning that as my reward. As I continued to train, my endurance got better and I felt stronger. Each new “long” run was a milestone and a gave me a feeling of accomplishment. First 5 felt amazing. Then 6. Then 7. (you get the idea). When I did 10, it was awful, but I did it!
When Corona happened, I was already training hard, and continued to hope it wouldn’t get cancelled (but as we learned more I realized it was inevitable). I thought about just stopping, and tabling my goal for a while. My brother-in-law commented on my Instagram Post and said “you are still running one on that day” and volunteered to run with me. That was all I needed to keep going. I had set out to achieve a goal, and put in a lot of work training, so even though the race was cancelled, I still committed.
This past Saturday was race day. It was truly amazing. Even when I set out I was unsure if could do it. I had put in the work training, but I felt a little uneasy, but excited. As promised, my brother-in-law ran with me. It was a beautiful day and the course we chose was beautiful by the water. It wasn’t a packed boardwalk at Atlantic City surrounded by thousands of other runners, but it was still my race and took it seriously. I started off strong, and by the end the last few miles were grueling. But thanks to John, the support of my friends who littered the route with signs and cheers (and soon enough strangers were even cheering me on) my family waiting for me at the “finish line”, and some energy chews I stuffed into my mouth (in hopes they would give me super powers to finish like Mario-kart) I am proud to say I did it! 2.47 hours later.
One more goal checked off on my bucket list. I am still doing the AC half-marathon next year as my registration gets carried over, so I hoping this time to beat my first time! Setting goals and always having something to work on, to be better is what has got me this far and what I will continue to do to keep going. I may have had some ups and downs, but goals keep me going.
Thank you for your support as always! Set some goals and smash em!