Sometime last week I had an idea. I wanted to run a marathon. I didn’t want to train for a marathon or run one six months from now. I wanted to run one on Sunday.
I was nervous all week. I’m in good shape. I was a personal trainer for about 10 years and workout everyday. I’m not a couch potato. I’m also not a runner. I do one 3 to 4 mile run a week and the rest of the time I lift weights and do interval style cardio training. I wasn’t even worried about the physical stuff. I was nervous about the mental toughness it would take to do this.
Did I have what it took to do this? Was I mentally tough? I wasn’t sure and that bothered me. I don’t want to be a quitter, I don’t want to do stuff half way, and I don’t want to cut corners. I want to do stuff the right way the first time and give it my all. I want to set a good example for my kids about not giving up on yourself or goals you have.
My internal dialogue was going crazy….”You got this!” “You don’t have to do this, you know?!” “Are you crazy?” “This will be great!”
I was talking myself out of this before I ever got started. I knew I had to stop the negativity.
I told my hubby my plan:
Me: I’m going to run a marathon this Sunday.
Hubby: This Sunday? You are?
Me: Yes. I want to see if I can do it.
Hubby: If anyone can just wake up and run 26 miles, it’s you.
Ok. I was off to a good start. Positivity. He didn’t say I was crazy. He said I could do this. I CAN do this. It’ll be awesome.
Saturday night we loaded up and got some supplies. I bought some Gatorade, Gu, and new socks. I loaded the Hogeye Marathon route on my phone and my hubby’s so he would know the route I was taking. (I’m not very graceful…injury was a real possibility.) I set my alarm for 5 a.m. and went to bed.
The morning of the run I was ready. I got my things, got my stuff in the car, and headed to Dickson to start my adventure. I was pumped. I can do this, I thought. This will be awesome.
Ten minutes into my run, I had a little issue. I had to go to the bathroom. I will spare you the details, but it was not a good situation. Prayers were going up and doubts were creeping in. Did God not want me to do this? Was this a sign from above to go home? And then…just when I was about to give up and go find a tree somewhere, I crested a hill, and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a port-a-potty in the middle of nowhere.
A heavenly shitter. God loves me.
I didn’t even care if it was nasty – it was there and I was using it. To my great surprise, it was immaculate. AND there was toilet paper. If you think God doesn’t answer prayers, well…he does.
I continued with my run, blasting out my earbuds and trotting along. I was cruising. I was mentally in the zone, felt great, and had no worries. I looked down and I’d gone 6 miles. Fabulous.
Then it started happening. A twinge in my hip.
I ignored it. I kept on. It kept on. My damn hip was tightening up. I looked down at my phone…I’d gone 7.5 miles. I stopped and stretched out my hips and legs and started back up. Nope. My hip was not having it. It was like a Charlie horse in my hip socket. I couldn’t move. This has never, ever happened to me before. Ever. And I’m not a spring chicken.
I wanted to cry. Not because I was hurting….because I knew I had to stop. I wanted to keep on going. I didn’t want to give up. I could make it. My hip could not. Finally, after much deliberation, I called my hubby. He said, “Next week. You got this, it’ll just be next week.” I smiled. “Yes”, I said. “Next week. Now get out of bed and come get me. I’ll be the sweaty girl hobbling down the street.”
So, my disappointed self drove home after completing only eight miles of the 26.2 I had hoped to complete. I was pissed. If I could have lifted my leg to kick someone’s ass, I would have.
I WAS mentally tough. I AM mentally tough. My hip, on the other hand, is a word I can’t type without blushing. (One day I will forgive that hip…one day.) I answered my question, though. I laced up my shoes. I got out the door. I put one foot in front of the other for 8 miles. I didn’t give up – I was forced to stop. There’s a big difference in giving up and stopping. I didn’t appreciate that until this run.
So, what did I learn with this little experiment? A lot.
1. You can talk yourself out of anything. You can talk yourself into anything. Decide which one is the best choice and listen to that voice in your head.
2. Supportive people are those that encourage you to do things that benefit you physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially. Unsupportive people don’t give a crap about what is best for you. Avoid them.
3. Set a big goal and then go for it. Remember to pace yourself and set mini goals along the way. You may not reach your goal in one day…just keep trying.
4. Use the bathroom before you leave the house.
5. 26.2 miles is a freaking long way.
Anyway, that’s my story of my first try at running a marathon without training, planning, or even liking to run. It was pretty stupid, plenty ambitious, and almost wrecked an important part of my body, but I’m still here.
Ready to go again.