My fingers are shaking a bit as I type out these first few words. Am I really going to do this? Am I really going to set this random – almost bizarre – personal goal and put it out there for the world to witness? Am I ready to commit to the possibility of this journey? Am I ready for the physical, mental, and emotional strength and pain it is going to take to get me there?
I am a 40- year old mother of four pre-teens (yes, you read that right. A grand total of FOUR hormonal adolescents.) A wife, sister, daughter, friend and aunt. I am a decent cook (my husband is better) and not so decent tennis player (my husband is lightyears better). I host great dinners and parties. I volunteer passionately at my kids’ school. I am a workout enthusiast. I am a traveler. I am a book lover and an avid Audible listener. I am a Pinterest-worthy cheese platter creator. I am a 4+ cups of coffee a day drinker and red wine lover. I am an overindulgent cookie and chocolate eater.
I am all these things. And more. Lots more.
I am NOT a runner.
I really am not.
Even though I have completed over 15 half marathons, one full marathon, a handful of mud runs and a Spartan race. I do not consider myself a runner.
First of all, I am slow as molasses. I do not have a runner’s body (opposite of long and lean) and I run flat footed with a heavy, lumbering gait. I have also never enjoyed a run while I am doing it. Running is hard. I get out of breath quickly. My face turns a glowing bright cherry red that I often worry draws concern from passerbys. After long runs (anything over 8 miles) my stomach revolts inside me and wages a war that keeps me close to a restroom for hours.
I procrastinate and find excuses not to run. I just ate, it’s too windy, it’s too cold, it’s too hot, it’s too early, I’ll do it later. Oops, it is later and funny enough there is another excuse.
But every single time I finish a run, I am filled with a sense of accomplishment and pride in myself. I am filled with a sense of calm and strength. My stress has diminished. I have found my way back to center. I feel free.
I just completed my first half marathon after my injury last year (more about that in a future post). The day before my race, I was asked by a friend, “Have you ever run a full marathon? “
“Yes! In my 20’s. It was the hardest physical thing I’ve ever done and will never do another one. One and done. Check that box. Never again.”
“Well,” I said, offhandedly, “maybe when I turn 50 I’ll run another marathon.”
And then something sparked inside of me. “Wait”… I said, holding up a finger to pause the conversation. “Maybe when I turn 50, I will run a 50-mile race. That would really be something.” Then we both Iaughed, said I was crazy, and moved on.
But that thought stuck with me. That thought has now taken root and begun to grow inside me. It has swirled and turned in my mind, inside out and upside down. It will not leave me.
Would that even be possible?
Could me, a non-runner, injured, wine drinking, cookie eating full-time mom actually do that?
What if I tried?
What if, for the first time in my life, I set out on this journey for the sake of the process, not the end result?
What if I set this crazy goal and just see what happens?
What will happen to me along the way?
What will happen to my body as I train?
What will happen to my mind during grueling hours of solitude?
What will happen to my spirit as I push, cajole, and mentally will myself to keep going?
What will this teach my kids about trying? Getting out of your comfort zone? Redefining yourself? Resetting what you think your own personal limits are?
Can I do this?
I don’t know.
I don’t know if my body will hold up. I have a lot of metal in my ankle that literally might not be able to go the distance.
I don’t know if I will have the mental toughness to make it through to the end. Will I make an excuse to give up?
I don’t know if some other life crisis will happen that will derail my plan. Never know what the future holds.
But I do know that I can’t not try.
And heck! I have a decade to get it done. (although my gut tells me it won’t take that long!)
This is the beginning. I invite you on my journey. I am excited to share it with you.