Have you ever set a goal so big that almost as soon as you set it, it scared you? And seemed just a little bit impossible? I know a lot of people set goals and resolutions at the beginning of the year (you can read about mine here), but the goal I had been most nervous about as the new year came was one I actually set wayyyy back in the late summer – I had signed up for a half marathon.
Now I know that it’s not the hardest thing to do in the world, and it is something I’ve done before, but that was nine years ago when I was crazy in shape. And since then, I have been actively avoiding any and all sorts of exercise. Yet something in me wanted to prove to myself that I could do it again. So I asked my uncle (one of the biggest runners I know) if he had any interest in running a half marathon with me. As soon as he said yes, I got scared. How was I supposed to be able to run THIRTEEN miles?! But I pushed any anxiety aside and soon found myself paying my registration fee and sorting out the details, without any training under my belt.
Once I had signed up, I realized I actually had to train for this thing now. I had run competitively for ten years when I was younger (Junior Olympics to high school track and cross country teams) so I knew exactly what it was going to take to get to the finish line. And I knew exactly what limitations I had. Running competitively for so long as a kid had really messed up my legs, hips, and back, so I was really nervous about making sure that I stayed injury free during training.
The first thing I did was sit down and build out a training program for myself with lots of rest days, icing and stretching planned in between the run days. Though making sure I didn’t get injured was my top priority/worry, I was also super worried I wouldn’t have the drive or the motivation to get through more than five or so miles. But I soon realized that my competitive side had not died an earlier death like I had previously thought, and was still very much alive. For every mile I ran, I wanted to see if I could run another and run it faster.
With a great pair of shoes, an awesome Garmin watch from my uncle (that helped me keep track of mileage and splits), some new workout clothes to make me feel amazing, and the constant support and encouragement from my family, I made it through my training. And before I knew it, my race weekend had finally come. I was so excited and SO nervous to actually get out there and run with my uncle.
We did the Disney World half marathon, so we turned the race into a long weekend trip, going to parks and Harry freaking Potter World (!!!!!!!!) and had so much fun. We ate amazing food, got to spend time with family (my mom came with me and my aunt came in from Tampa for a day), and it made the entire weekend so much better than I thought it could have been. We had SO much fun during our race (something I never thought I would say) and I can honestly say I would go back and do it again in a heartbeat.