Alternately titled: The One Where I Get All Sappy And Reflective About My Running
Tomorrow morning I will be running the Fairview Half Marathon, my 30th half marathon. It was 3 years ago this weekend that I ran my very first half marathon. I actually kind of hated it and if you had told me then that I was going to have run 30 halfs over the next 3 years I definitely would have laughed at you. The only reason I ran another one is because in signing up for my first half I signed myself up for the “4 Seasons Challenge” which signed me up for 4 half marathons throughout the year, if it weren’t for that who knows what my running would have looked like over these past few years. But as I look back now I cannot imagine my life without running. I look at myself as a “baby runner” 3 years ago and I just look so wide-eyed and innocent to all things running, it’s kind of cute actually. I have learned so much since then about running and more importantly about myself. I am in no way an expert runner, but I do consider myself experienced. I have had my fair share of good races and I have had my share of bad races. I’ve learned about hydration and nutrition while running and I’ve trained countless hours and logged many, many miles.
Three years ago I finished that first half in just under 3 hours with a time of 2:59:xx and since then I’ve dropped my time by 44 minutes with my half PR sitting at 2:16. I’ve had some races that have taken me over 3 hours to finish and some races that while they weren’t PR’s they were perfectly executed races. I’ve had multiple PR races and then broken those PR’s as well. But at the end of the day I have always kept going. Running has been a journey for me, a healing journey, a learning journey and a downright blessing from the Good Lord above.
So as I sit here and think about my race tomorrow I can’t help but feel excited and filled with gratitude to be getting up before the sun, yet again, to go and do something that has molded my life in so many ways. Tomorrow was supposed to be a race in which I was gunning for a PR; I’ve had my eyes set on a sub-2:15 for a year now and I had high hopes for this race. But I know without a doubt that tomorrow will be nowhere near a PR race for me and you know what, my type-A, goal-setting, over-achieving self is 100% ok with that. Shocking, I know! Bottom line is this: I haven’t been training for a PR so I in no way can expect myself to achieve one. Sure I’ve put in a lot of hard training, training that I’m proud of in fact, miles that I’m happy with and worked hard for. But at the end of the day my paces and speed work just weren’t on par with what they needed to be for a PR race.
That’s ok though, as I mentioned the other day I’m learning about myself and about balancing my life better and that just wasn’t in the picture for me right now. My old self wouldn’t really be ok with that, but this new self, the one that the Lord has been working on and changing is more than ok with it. Tomorrow will be a fun day for me and a day to celebrate the awesomeness of running 30 half marathons! I mean come on, that’s pretty freaking badass if I do say so myself. If you had asked me when I started running what my goal was for running in my life I definitely would have said something like:
“oh, you know, maybe run 10 or so half marathons and a full marathon, that sounds like some good goals to have”.
Well I’m hear to tell you that one of the blessings of running has been watching myself conquer and accomplish things I had no earthly idea I was capable of and wouldn’t you know it but that’s empowering people. Not only is it empowering me to look towards bigger running goals but it empowers me in other areas of my life as well. Changing jobs, scary as hell for me but you know what, I took a chance and did it. Buying a house, really scary, but I did it (well WE did it, that helped a lot). There are so many things I never thought I was capable of but I’ve proved myself wrong over and over again. So tomorrow I get to celebrate the fact that I am a better me than I was 3 years ago! PR or no PR I have accomplished more than I could have imagined.
When I ran my first half marathon (read about it here and here) my mom made a sign for me with my favorite verse on it.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power, that is at work within us. Now to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever, Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
There is a back story behind that verse in that it was powerful to me, having gone through a divorce 8 months prior it became the verse that moved me forward each and every day. It got me to many training runs and eventually to the starting line of that very first half marathon. And then to the very end of that very first half marathon. And since then it just hasn’t stopped, the blessings have continually overflowed in my life and I have seen God work IMMEASURABLY MORE in so many areas of my life it’s overwhelming. And running have been no exception. So tomorrow morning I will once again be living proof of God doing immeasurable more in my life than all I could have asked or imagined. To God be the glory!