I, well, we, have a friend who is organizing a half marathon in our little town. The Sillassen Half will take place on April 19, and runs, literally, in my front yard. Yes, FINALLY, I found a race that I don’t have crazy travel!
There are lots of upsides to this race, but so far, my favorite UP is that I have a few friends who have jumped onto the crazy train and are going to run it, as their first half!
I am beyond crazy proud of both of them for
tossing all common sense out the window and committing. Really, the idea of running 13.1 miles is daunting to anyone, but especially for the first time out and really, the road I live in is a little hilly
So I was talking with one of them on Thursday, asked how she was doing with her training, all that good stuff. She is doing great, she really is, but our conversation got me to thinking…which is never a good thing.
Like most of us, she is a mom and a wife and the balancing act can be challenging. And let’s face it…..the only one who mom will let suffer, is mom. Mom will eat last. Mom will clean up the living room before she goes to be so she doesn’t have to do it in the morning. Mom will skip her run to take care of everything else that needs attending or run at 0 dark 30 before the munchkins are up and moving so as to not disturb their schedules anymore then necessary. We have all been there ….. many of us are going right back there AGAIN….you are so not alone in this.
Training for a half is demanding. Training PERIOD is demanding, however the half, while much easier to manage then a full, is a lot to take on. You are still committing to 3-4 days a week and a long run on the weekend that, eventually, will take a couple hours and allow you to solve world peace. In Winter….when motivation to get outside for long runs is simply that the idea of a double digit run on the dreadmill is the only thing less appealing the double digits in single digit weather and slick roads.
To both Trisha and Kimberly, and anyone else who is training for their first half…regardless of the race, I want you to know this….
It is worth it.
The time, energy, the sweat and tears and pulled muscles and aching feet. The blisters and stomach aches, the EXHAUSTION. It is all worth it. None of it will be in vain. The time from your kids, it might take you away from them now, but when they are standing at the finish line, cheering you in…..it will be worth it. When you sit down and can’t get up again without some assistance, you will have earned every bit of help. You just ran 13.1 miles…you deserve some help. And a beer.
You will have pushed yourself so far past any point where you thought possible, and you continued on and you did it.
I was told several times before my first half that the person who finishes the race, is not the same person who starts. I have found this to be very, VERY true. Something happens on the course….between the elation of starting, the frustration when your watch isn’t ticking away the miles nearly as fast as you would like, the agony of knowing your whole body hurts yet there are still 4 miles to go, to the very welcome final burst of adrenaline when the sights and sounds of the finish line come into view. It will be worth it.
Question your sanity now. I promise that we all do it. After 6 half marathons, and a full, I still ask myself why I do this. And the reason is because you cannot duplicate the race day experience and from the starting line to the finish, it is an experience. It is your experience, so treasure it. Don’t let anything get in the way. And the training is part of your experience. The run that feels like you can run forever and the one where you want to throw away your shoes and never run again….it’s all part of it.
Your kids will thank you….and cheer you in, steal your medal, and probably fight with each other over who gets to wear it but even that will be worth it. They will be proud of you. Hubby will be proud of you. You will be proud of you.
You get to the starting line feeling confident and ready. You finish physically drained, emotionally worn but you will be stronger then you were when you began. Exhausted but strong.
P.S. Once again, inspirational photo from Fellow Flowers….check them out.