Friday, September 19, 2014

The Trail

One year ago I was prepping for my first marathon. I was nervous and scared and so full of nerves. The unknown really can stress a person out, or maybe it's just me. Last year at this time I thought I had prepared the best I could. I had ran (I use that term loosely because it was a sucky day and run) 20 miles, I had strength trained, etc. It came time for race day and you can just imagine the nerves, although I was super excited and really didn't care about my time. You can read it about here
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Before I even hit the pavement this past weekend I was super nervous. You see this summer has been a whirlwind to say the least. It seems like I haven't had the time for proper training. My sister's wedding, pictures, my kids, work, the weather, more weddings, it seems like I have no time for anything, and it really stresses me out. I haven't ran more than 16 miles since August and I was feeling the stress of it all and it was consuming me. I've been plagued with leg injuries and have been battling through them.
I've thought this whole process would be easier this time around. I think mostly because I've done it before. I've already ran the 26.2 miles I really have nothing to prove. I could care less if my time is faster, but I know my pride wants me to do better. I've done better at every race this year and I guess I'm just afraid of not meeting that goal. I know I've trained better. I've been lifting weights, biking, and running. I've been doing the strength exercises, seeing my chrio, and eating more calories to fuel me. I've even been making sure to get more sleep. What the hell am I so nervous about.
That has been my thought process. I woke up bright and early Sunday morning and decided to run for me. I was going to run as far as I could (of course within my time constraints) and be happy with it.
I started out and of course that damn throbbing in my calf was telling me to stop and turn around and go back to bed, but I'm bull headed sometimes and I kept going.

After mile 7, I came to my trail. The trail that is where my running love was fueled.  You see when I first started back to running 2-1/2 years ago I couldn't run that trail. I kept trying and trying and I'll never forget the time I was able to run through the whole thing without stopping. I remember the tears that I shed because I was so proud that I was able to push through the pain. That I didn't give up when my lungs said to stop, when the heat was to hot, when everything said no you can't.  I remember feeling so proud that I had ran that trail.  So on Sunday when I came to that trail I stopped running and I walked it. That one mile long trail I walked it, and I reflected on why I started running in the first place. I reflected on why I kept pushing onward, and what running means to me now. I reflected on how beaten and battered I felt after running my marathon, and how much I was hurting now. I reflected on all those nay-sayers, that feel like runners have to fit into this perfect box. Those people that think that unless you're this fitness body type that you shouldn't run a marathon. Those people that have given me looks when I say I've ran a marathon.

I also thought about all the people that have said they started running, or some physical fitness regimen because they saw that I did it. I thought about all those people that have been inspired to live healthier just because they saw me do it. I say this and by no means do I feel like I am an inspiration to anyone. I am not narcissistic like that. In fact, it surprises me every time someone comments here or when I see them. I have never felt that what I do will help someone else. I just try to be the best person I can be everyday, for my family and for my overall health. 

So getting back to that trail, after I exited that trail I felt truly uplifted. I don't want to say that God was speaking to me but maybe he was. Maybe just maybe he was showing me that no matter the obstacles that are put in front of me, I always try to make the best of it and try to come out the other end stronger. I ran the last 4 miles and while I was still in pain I knew that I would finish the upcoming marathon strong. It may not be better are faster than last time but what matters most is that I finish it.  I found my clarity and why I continue to completely exhaust myself.

With that being said this weekend I'll be running my 5th half marathon. I rested my achy leg all week and it feels better. My marathon countdown says 23 days till race day.

~There is no luck involved in finishing the Marathon, the ingredients required to tackle this formidable challenge are straightforward: commitment, sacrifice, grit, and raw determination. Plain and simple-
Dean Karnazes -Runners World~

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