In a few weeks, I’ll be signing up for my fourth half marathon: the 2015 GORE-TEX Half Marathon. I haven’t been running much since December – I set out to complete the Runner’s World running streak that starts on Thanksgiving and ends on New Year’s Day…and when I got let go five days into that, I lost a lot of motivation. On top of that have been some Nor’easters and wind chill advisories and needless to say, my motivation has decreased even more. I’ve been doing some workouts at home and trying not to be incredibly lazy in the meantime.
While getting my calendar set to sign up and start training, I’ve been reflecting on the races of the past. Last October I ran my first full marathon: the Marine Corps Marathon. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and the training certainly wasn’t easy either. I’ve probably mentioned it on here before – I didn’t train as well as I should have – before the training started I made a major move, changed jobs, then moved to a new apartment, took trips home and away…and yeah, training took a backseat.
I felt so unprepared going into the marathon, but my dad was running it with me and he stayed with me the entire time. I really could not have done it without him. When I was pretty much done at mile 15, he kept me going. When I started getting emotional at mile 25, he was right there. A great dad can really help you make up for some crappy training.
And you know, I was sort of due for the crappy training. I ran three half marathons prior to the full and my training for each was awesome. Particularly the training for the most recent half.
Living alone in the city, training was something that kept me going in a life that was pretty lonely. I signed up for the Hudson Mohawk Half Marathon – a great, flat course – and set out to finish in under two hours. My goal was simply 1:59:59, and I trained on the hilly trails of Central Park to help me accomplish that. And I ran so hard! SO HARD. I finished in 1:56:23 and sobbed as I crossed the finish line. Of course, I had told my family that if I ran it in under two hours I would train for a full next, and then I had to follow through on that.
I went through a period of feeling worthless during my unemployment, and as I was cleaning my apartment one day during that time I came across those race medals. Looking at the medals and remembering all the hard work I put into earning them and how difficult these accomplishments were, it reminded me that no one is worthless. Everyone has someone to offer. Just because one person has something against you doesn’t mean that everyone will overlook how hard you’re willing to work toward something.
As I approach the registration date for this next race, I’m excited to start my training in a great state of mind. I’m no longer running to be distracted, I’m going to be running because it’s something I love to do. At this time, I’m planning on just doing the run and having fun, but I know once training starts my competitive spirit will kick in and I’ll be looking to beat that 1:56;23 🙂