Today I got an email from the Chicago Marathon Organizers informing me that my half-marathon is in 18 days. EIGHTEEN DAYS. (Excuse me for a moment. I must hyperventilate. Talk amongst yourselves.)
OK. I'm back.
So, as I was saying, the half-marathon I have been training for for six months is now in 18 days. Until today, the day has always seemed REALLY REALLY far away. I mean, I started running six months ago. 24 weeks ago. 180 days ago. 4320 hours ago. 259,200 minutes ago. A long time ago. It's easy to say you will do something insane...in the future. Well, folks, my future is getting closer and closer. In 18 days. EIGHTEEN DAYS! (Oh wait. I already had that rant. Sorry.)
I don't feel ready. This week's runs were harder than I would have liked for a race that is so soon. Overall, I don't have many training runs left until the big day. It seems to me they all need to be good from this point forward. Maybe that's just inexperience talking.
My training week started with my body's refusal to let me run the track workout. I only run three times a week. This workout is a third of my week's training. On the surface, I was upset by this. However, if I were to tell you the truth (as I have a nasty habit of doing), I'd tell you that I was THRILLED to have a reason to skip that track workout. (Those things are hard, man!)
I did run twice last week - a seven-miler and a 10K. And they were hard miles, discouraging miles, painful miles. I don't think I was fully healed, and I really struggled. I began questioning my desire to run a marathon in May 2010 (again, a time that is really far away.) If seven miles is so consistently hard, what would 26.2 be?? As I ran up a big hill on one of my runs, I dismissed that thought, finding wisdom in the idea that making a decision of such magnitude should not be done while sick, hot, soaking wet from humidity, aching, thirsty, or when experiencing the burning pain of a shin splint on your right leg that won't seem to heal. No, decisions like whether or not to run a marathon should be made while eating Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies, lying on a coach, rested and showered.
So today I sit, pondering eighteen days. Yes, last week was hard. Yes, overall I have had a hard time in my training. And yet, I know I have come so far. Maybe today needs to be a day for remembering:
* Six months ago, I couldn't run more than 20 minutes.
Today, I have run 105 minutes in one outing. Twice.
* Six months ago, I weighed 8 pounds more. Today, I weigh 8 pounds less.* Six months ago, my thighs were one blob. Today, I have AWESOME quads you can SEE!
* Six months ago, I couldn't run up Hillside (a street often on my route). Today, I can run up it easily.* Six months ago, I did not know about Sunset Drive. Today, I have discovered one of the most beautiful parts of Asheville.
* Six months ago, I had no running clothes. Today, I have gear that makes me feel good when I run.* Six months ago, I blundered with nutrition. Today, I have learned how to eat for health and energy.
* Six months ago, I struggled with depression. Today, I am much more joyous and grateful.* Six months ago, I knew no runners. Today, I have a slew of friends I meet up with at the track.
* Six months ago, I felt lost. Today, I feel confident and excited.* Six months ago, I had no blog. Today, I have met some very cool people through this format.
* Six months ago, I had no blisters. Today, I have three.
Best of all, running and blogging has encouraged me to pay attention to the lessons of life. I have grown in not only my physical ability, but I am stronger mentally. I feel better about myself, and have a keen awareness of the role choice plays in my life (choose to run or not - choose to stop on this hill or not).
Life is full of choices. Yes, the past few years of my life have been really, really hard. And now, I choose to take charge and create the life I want. Running and otherwise.
Today, I am choosing gratitude for where I've been and what I've learned. In running and in life. And I choose to be REALLY REALLY EXCITED about the Chicago half-marathon in 18 days. EIGHTEEN DAYS! I can't wait!
Think of one thing in your life right now that makes you feel negative/anxious/overwhelmed etc.
What choices are you making in how you deal with it?
Can you make different choices that will shift your perspective?.
Until next time, may you love your life today.