Getting excited (and also a bit anxious) before a big endurance event that you have trained for is normal. But what about an event that although you have trained, is not going to represent your peak performance? An event that was last minute and that you are going into with incredibly low expectations? The feeling of nervous energy, anticipation, a certain knot in your stomach…is still there.
In my case, I am four days away from the Runners World Half Marathon in Bethlehem Pennsylvania. But even better than the actual half marathon itself? The Runners World Editors and staff, the Olympians, the inspiring feet whose running has been transformative…..they will be there, in person, sharing inspiration and thoughts during workshops and sessions.
Here is the thing. I know that inspiration and motivation do not work through osmosis. You have to make it your own, believe, and commit…I know all that. But as I go into this half marathon, planning to do a mix of walking and running (possibly more walking than running), I know that I am taking my first big step back into a life where running is part of my daily diet. But…there is something to be said for being inspired by those around you. The stories and the experiences, the knowledge and the tips. And also? By accomplishing the goals that you set for yourself.
The truth is that I am actually a bit scared or anxious. And by a bit, I mean a lot.
One of the first events will be an “easy” three mile run as a group on Friday with Burt Yasso from Runners World and the other FitFluential Ambassadors that will be there. Here is the thing. I have not run a straight three miles yet without doing some walking. I remember what it feels like to be the last and slowest person in the group. I don’t enjoy feeling like I am holding other people back. But there is no way that I am going to let that stop me from running that morning and pushing myself. Because I have gotten stronger. I have made progress.
Then of course there is the half marathon itself. After running (walk-running) ten miles on Sunday, my body was (still is) SORE. My hipflexors remind me that they are unhappy every single day and everything feels tight. My feet played their now regular game of going numb on me…and overall, my overweight body is a running disaster. But….I am still going to cross that finish line. Happy and smiling (even if it hurts) because this is just the beginning.
The beginning of larger goals. Goals of running with princesses, and hopefully running an inaugural NIKE DC half marathon. Goals that include a possible marathon in 2013. Goals that are real, and attainable….but goals that mean I have to start somewhere, even if that somewhere is walking or slow or in pain.
So for now, I will do laundry and pack, create a new music playlist, and and get ready to drive north to Pennsylvania with one focus: Living.Doing.Growing. Channeling my fear. Channeling my focus and intentions. This race will not be one for the record books, but the weekend and the experience will be one for the life-book.
I will be participating in the inaugural Runners World Half Marathon as a FitFluential Ambassador. My race related expenses will be provided by Runners World. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.