Have you done something you NEVER thought you could do? Well, I have..running a half marathon! To be frank with you, I never really had a desire to do it either. Running has always been very intimidating and miserable for me. Being overweight a majority of my life, I avoided it at all cost not because I didn’t want to be healthy but the embarrassment outweighed the benefit in my mind. It was NEVER going to be my thing… or, so I thought!
I wasn’t always an overweight child. I use to run, jump and play soccer with the best to them up until 4th grade. That is when it all changed – my parents had been separated/divorced for awhile, they were settled into their own worlds and not overly involved in ours. They probably didn’t even notice when things were changing. It probably never occurred to them that I stopped going outside, only running as far as I had to in practice, and suddenly being too sick anytime I had to play in the game. They probably didn’t see I was hoarding snack food, having what looked like an eating competition with myself and barely moving off the couch. They were busy – at least too busy to notice. No one intervened, no one blinked an eye. In no time, I went from an agile center mid soccer player to 10-15 lbs overweight happily riding the bench. This bench extended further than my soccer games but was in EVERY aspect of my life. Truth be told, most of my life was spent spectating from the sideline because I was always too afraid to live it. I never felt good enough to be in the game. I did not always feel this way but even on the days I didn’t, I would do something to ensure I stayed there. Physically, things got better as I went into high school then college but that overwhelming self doubt and self consciousness is still with me today.
From the outside, I am guessing my life did not look too bad while inside it was a whirlwind. I did what I was told, met expectation without exception but had a bad habit of self-sabotage anytime things were looking up. That was until two years ago. Two years ago, I made the commitment to once and for all turn my life around – not only physically but mentally. I started the journey looking for a physical transformation and came out with so much more. Who knew making the commitment to work out at least 25 minutes a day, drinking a nutrition shake and eating clean was going to help me conquer so many of my fears. I had no clue but it did! It wasn’t that commitment alone that got me to where I am today. It was the commitment to be the best version of myself every single day after that which has really changed the trajectory of my life.
It started slow with committing to my workouts & eating healthy, graduating to adding in personal development, lept to deciding to quit my job and is currently working through my #fiftyfirstgreats. For the past 7 months, I committed to do something new every week and blog about it. Despite a hiccup here and there, it has come into fruition since this will be TWENTY-SIXTH first great. How freaking cool is that?! Anyways, I will fast forward a bit since I blogged about my decision to run and my training in my My Sixteenth Great – Run, Run, RUNNNNN post!
:: FAST FORWARD ::
I am two days back from my CRUISE and one day until the race, I am exhausted but not really freaking out. In my mind, it was going to happen regardless if it was pretty or not. Well, that lasted until I started to talk to my brother who was a ball of nerves. He did not prepare as much as he would have liked for his run and was slightly freaking out. He was talking about everything that could go wrong, what he needed to do to make sure it didn’t, and so on, so forth. We stayed up too late the night before for the 4:30am wake up call we had but still I was pretty cool and collected. His anxiety persisted throughout the morning. At this point, I am shocking myself because I am a worrier – so much so that I worry about being worried, LOL. But, it just wasn’t the case this time. As we got of the car to jump on the shuttle, I had to finally tell Nick to STOP! His anxiety was starting to give me anxiety. He laughed but he knew I was right. I took a few deep breaths and centered myself again. All I needed was a fully charged phone, my headphones, my running watch and all was well in the world. After a few potty breaks, it was go time! I plugged in my earbuds turned on The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone (great book by the way) and was ready. Buzzer goes and we head out. We are less than 2 minutes past the start line, when my brother was already a football field length in front of me. So much for doing this thing together, just kidding! I am striding along on the outside passing people as we go over the bridge into the town. My goal every few minutes is to pass the person in front of me. I focused intently on the book and kept rocking and rolling – we pass the first mile marker, the second, the third and the fourth. I am feel like this won’t be too bad – I am over a third of the way through the race.
Then it happened, the course is just a straight crossing paths with where we parked and going straight beyond that. I felt like I was running FOREVER and getting nowhere. I was praying I would see the fifth mile sign …but, nothing. I am freaking out – this is the LONGEST mile ever! The internal dialog starts going…”Are the rest of them going to be like this? Oh god, my legs hurt and I’m tired. What is going on? I am going to die…”. I kept going and going for what felt like an eternity … then, on the side of the street I see a sliver of a sign ahead. I had a sense of relief, but instead of mile five it said mile six! Wait, what?! That is awesome, I essentially just had a two for one deal. Oh, ok.. I can do this. My faith was renewed and so was my adrenaline. I refocus my attention back to the audio book and continue on. Before I know it, I am well on my way through my eight mile …as with all my other runs this part seems to go a bit faster. The tidbit I forgot to mention, I had never actually ran 13 miles at that point. I most I had ever ran was 10! My attention was focused on getting through 10 and then worry about the extra 3.1 later. At that point, I am pretty sure I blacked out because I was at mile 10 then I was 95% complete with my run according to my watch. Let me tell you that last 5% felt like it was NEVER going to end, haha! I was ready to be done and it was so close but yet so far. I kept staring at my watch praying I would just magically be 100% completed but it wasn’t. At this point, I have totally tuned out my book and I am just going. My watch buzzes to let me know I hit 100% but I am not at the finish line. It literally took everything I had in me not to stop and to keep going through the finish line. It was insane but then…I was done! All of that hard work and effort…and, I did it! …and, I wasn’t really that out of breath.
Ahh, the satisfaction of finishing something I never thought I could do lasted for all of two minutes. It felt like a victorious moment, until I realized I kind of sandbagged it. I wanted to finish with my pace being less than 11 minutes & it was butttttt… could I have done better, yes! Even though I swore this was a one and done kind of thing, I might actually do another and it might be for time. I couldn’t believe myself when I said it outloud. I thought it was the runner’s high talking but I am pretty sure I was being serious. I guess we shall find out!
Truth be told, I never thought I COULD do a 5k let alone a half-marathon … frankly, I could never EVER imagine wanting to do it. But, the belief I have in myself has grown astronomically over the past 2 years! I’m constantly pushing myself out of comfort zone and becoming a better person everyday. My mindset is more positive, I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in and my confidence has tripled. In the past, I would have never attempted something like this in fear that’d I would fail … Now, I do things everyday that are scary because I know I’m just challenging myself to be better. I know that even if I don’t meet the mark today – I will one day!
Imagine what your life would be like with that strong foundation of belief in yourself. If you’re in the same place I was and are ready to take a positive step in living your best life, contact me and I’d love to chat with you.