And it continues on Sunday with 13.1 miles forward.
My first half marathon.
In the past 6 months there have been more miles run than I ever dreamed I was capable of; bigger hills (literally) run up than I ever even let myself imagine running up before; more desire to lace up my shoes and just run than I thought possible.
There is a company that sells running stickers and jewelry called Lift Your Sole, and they have a great Facebook page that always has inspirational photos with quotes or encouraging words on them. Most days I appreciate the encouragement, but the photos today have spoken to my heart and helped bring to the surface all of the emotions that have been keeping me going, that have made running fun and something I actually look forward to doing. I'd like to share these thoughts with you, and with myself here in this space, to remind myself just what these months have done for me and why every ache, bead of sweat, and sore spot was worth it.
This one ^ took my breath away. I barely trained for that 5k back in May, I had just had surgery in January and kept thinking I *might* be or get pregnant and then I wouldn't be running the 5k anyway. While my physical scars aren't drastic, they are there and they indicate IF. IF is tough. And it has tried to hurt me, and a lot of times it has won. But as I've trained I have proved, and come Sunday, I will prove again that this body of mine works, it is strong, and it is not useless. I cannot tell you the power behind that sentence. Days when I would be running and be tired and crampy because of AF, my mantra was literally "I am strong and powerful." As one foot would hit the pavement after the other, I willed myself to believe this. Yes, I might have some scars, but I am stronger than IF.
This one ^ describes the emotion I felt in the bathroom at the expo center after the 5k in May and also every time I met a new goal - be it speed or distance or just going out and running when I didn't want to. I can't change our IF. I can deal with it, try to treat what causes it, but ultimately, I know I cannot change it. While I can't say I've let go of it, when I run I have let go of letting it control me.
This one ^ has been a favorite quote of mine for a long time, but it is so applicable to my experiences of the past few months. My fears of hurting myself (I'm super clumsy), of not being able to do it, of so many things. One of these big fears was crossing the 6 mile mark. Last summer, when Sara was talking about training for a half marathon, I remember, very clearly, saying to her "I'll start and end with you and meet you and do whatever, maybe I'll bike while your run, but I just can't run more than 6 miles, my body can't do it. Each and every time I pass 6 miles or head out for a "short run" of 6 miles, I smile as I remember my fears.
This one ^ is exactly what I was feeling and hoping when I registered for a half marathon (the one next August) back in May. That I didn't want to get to next August and be standing at the finish line waiting for Sara, still not pregnant or a mom, full of regret for not living my life. Each month since May as AF has shown up right on time, I have been rewarded for my decision, for I know that I decided to live my life rather than wait for a life that may never happen.
While running isn't an extremely expensive sport, there are some costs associated, as indicated here ^. Sometimes I've felt guilty spending our extra money on new shorts or a race entry fee, but The Man is always supportive and when I look in the mirror and see a runner (albeit a slow one), I know that is priceless. Because I see a body that works (at least in some ways), that is healthy, and that has gotten so much stronger. When I catch a glimpse of myself in a store window when I'm out running, I do a double take because I don't recognize the person I see. I see confidence and courage that do not exist at any other times in my life.
This ^ wil be my mantra on Sunday. While I'm scared to death of being last on Sunday (if only there was a turtle division, I'd fit right in), I know that crossing that finish line will be one of the greatest achievements of my life. The tears are already forming in my eyes as I consider it, and I suspect they will be running down my cheeks on Sunday.
Sunday, October 14, 2012. 9:00 am. Run.
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