This month has been rough, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been running A LOT & it’s been very hot or very rainy where I live which has made this training even harder. I find myself watching the weather more than normal and planning time frames to get a run in. It’s been hard, my knees hurt, my hips hurt, my ankles are getting weak – but the other day before I started my longest run I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself a little bit. I had lost the drive and excitement I had when I first signed up for this half marathon and my attitude about running was becoming more negative every day. I realized at that moment how absolutely blessed I am to even be able to run 8 miles. My dad always says “You don’t have to, you get to” & I’m starting to realize what that really means as I get older. I used to dread going to soccer practices when I was younger, but I’m looking back now wishing I could play one more High School season or one more Club season. I didn’t have to go, I was fortunate and lucky enough to be able to go. I had worked my butt off to be on Varsity as a Freshman & a very good Club team. I was fortunate enough my parents gave me the best training & extra help to be in the situation I was in. I now know I need to keep that mindset towards everything I do, not only fitness but school, work, everything.
I know there’s a lot of people out there who would love to be able to run 8 miles in one period of time but for one reason or another, be it physical or mental, they can’t do that. I knew when I signed up for this half I was going to be tested, not only physically but mentally as well. Your mental attitude is half the battle.
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
Breaking past the wall of “I can’t go anymore” is a huge step in the right direction if you want to be successful in anything. You are capable of so much more than your mind tells you you are & you really have to learn to tell that voice to shut up because that voice isn’t telling you that you can go that extra mile, it’s telling you your legs are burning and it would be much easier if you quit. Breaking past that point is the moment where you can find what you are truly about to do.
I had a 6 mile run as a long run a few weeks back and I made the mistake of waiting until about 12:30 in the afternoon,
dumbass, and try to run my longest distance yet in about 92 degree weather with the humidity at almost 100% in full sun…. not my smartest idea yet. Needless to say, I only finished about 2.5 of those 6 miles. I felt really shitty that day, I felt like I let myself fail because I could’ve woken up earlier or waited until later that day to run. The next week rolls around and my long run increased by 2 miles to a huge 8 mile run… Up until that point I had only ran 5 miles & thinking, holy shit, that’s 3 extra miles, was running in my mind. So that night I was determined not to let myself fail again. I set my alarm for 7 am, got up, ate my breakfast, waited an hour & I hit the road. The 8 miles actually seemed relatively easy & despite the fact that I fell and busted both my knees and rolled my ankle at mile 5 (I know..), I got right back up and kept running. It would’ve been easy to quit & I’m sure there’s people who would’ve understood if I would have stopped and went home (especially the people who kept staring at the blood running down my leg 0_0), but I wasn’t going to quit & I wasn’t in any unbearable pain – so I continued and finished every single one of those 8 miles, bloody, swollen and all.
The next day I had a 5k to run & I had an ankle that was the side of a small orange, one knee with an incredibly swollen bursa sac & another knee that had a strawberry on it that kept oozing blood and pus (sorry for the visual). Again, I was determined to finish & finish well. It was just another test for me to overcome in my eyes & I did by placing 2nd in my age group and setting a new PR for my 5k time.
Basically this month was a huge wake up call for me. I’ve tested limits I’ve never been to before, but now I know what I’m capable of & I have learned to trust my body when my mind is screaming STOP. Moral of this post is, don’t give up. Never think just because you haven’t been over a hurdle before that you can’t jump it now. Don’t be afraid to try and fail. Learn from that failure & do better the next time. Never listen to that person in your mind telling you that you’re tired & it’d be easier if you stopped because that voice will always keep you mediocre & life isn’t about being mediocre – you’ve gotta push your limits and test your mind to be great.
As always, thanks for reading & good luck to everyone on a fitness journey (: