I’ve wanted to run a marathon for a while. Like, since I first decided to register for a half marathon. Unfortunately, I’ve been too afraid.
I remember when I finished my first 10K I thought to myself, “that wasn’t too bad; I think I could handle a half marathon.” Then when I finished my first half marathon I thought, “NOPE, definitely still can’t do a marathon.” But the problem with things like this (insanely challenging things) is that you probably won’t ever feel ready. So, two weeks ago, in a moment of extreme bravery, I registered for my first marathon.
The race isn’t until December, so I have plenty of time to train, and it’s local so I may have talked a friend into running it with me. Both good things. I’m still very nervous, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.
…and to how badass I’m sure I’ll feel at the end. 🙂
I haven’t been running much lately because I go to two aerial classes a day six days a week most weeks, but if you’ve been reading my blog for a long time you’ll know that last fall I was running generally five days a week. And because I’m too lazy to drive somewhere to run, I typically ran along more or less the same route (adjusted for distance).
There are a few people that I got used to seeing on a semi-regular basis, but there was one in particular that I really remembered – partly because he liked to run on the street despite the fact that there was a perfectly good sidewalk right next to him, but mostly because it seemed like I saw him nearly every run in more or less exactly the same spot, give or take a couple hundred yards.
After a few days or weeks of this, I think we both started to recognize each other because when we passed he would smile and/or wave, and I’d smile and/or wave back. Eventually I grew emotionally attached to him in a weird way; the way that runners support each other in passing is one of my favorite things about running, and getting a smile or a wave felt like encouragement that helped me through my runs, no matter how much I was struggling. So, I started thinking of him as my running buddy.
Since I stopped running, I’ll still see him every once in a while – though generally from my car – and feel guilty about how infrequently I’ve been getting out on my feet. And occasionally I’d thought that I’d like to actually meet/talk to him, but since neither of us want to interrupt our runs and I’d never seen him anywhere else I figured it would never happen. Or so I thought.
I enjoy running. I really do. Even when it’s hard, even when I’m out of breath, even when I just want to quit, running is a positive activity for me. I often find when I’m stressed, angry, or upset, my first reaction is to go for a run. And the feeling of accomplishment when I go faster or further than I could before is incredible.
But sometimes, I still don’t make it out the door.
Aerial, on the other hand, I love. And I consistently have no trouble making it to class four, five, or even six days a week – sometimes twice a day. I feel like I could spend all day, every day in an aerial class and I would never get tired of it. Well, my muscles would get tired, but my brain wouldn’t! And that’s what brings me to Part 6 of my indefinitely long series of reaching fitness goals:
For those who don’t know, color runs are races (generally 5k, generally untimed) where you get colored powder thrown at you in the middle of the course. In this case, there were four colors (yellow, pink, orange, blue) throughout the race and then glitter at the finish line. Then at the after party they give you even MORE powder for “color throws” where everyone just throws their powder up in the air and it gets all over everything.
Ever since I moved to Charleston, any time I mentioned running to anyone, the very first response I got was “oh, are you going to do the bridge run?” Fortunately I have a friend at Clemson who told me about the race before I even moved, so we’d already agreed to run it together and I knew what they were talking about. But I still assumed that their insistence that it’s a really big deal was just Charleston people being proud of Charleston.
You know how last week I wrote a post saying I’d been really tired lately? And it sounded like it was just a really long, lame excuse for not keeping up with my blogging? Well on Tuesday night I went to bed at 8:30 pm, and I didn’t even feel bad about it.
For the record, I am not a go to bed early person. If a year ago you’d told me that a year from then I would have either run a half marathon in just over two hours or gone to bed at 8:30 pm once, I would have picked the half marathon. Seriously.
But anyway. Fitness goals.
You hear a lot of talk out there about fitness accountability, and for good reason. It’s pretty easy to be like, “you know what, self? I’m not feeling that five mile run today. Let’s skip it.” And your self will be like, “I was thinking the exact same thing! I’ve got some serious couching to do today.” But it’s a lot harder to call up a friend and be like, “you know what, friend? I’m not feeling those plans we made to exercise together. I’m just not gonna show up.”
The problem with this is that I strongly prefer running on my own; it’s my me time. And I know I’m not the only one who prefers exercising all by their one-some. So the good news is that exercise with friends is not the only way to hold yourself accountable!
Actually, I kicked ass at a half marathon on Saturday. The MapMyRun screenshot below shows my splits, but I forgot to stop the timer at the end so my actual clock time was 2:05:55, which meant an average pace of 9:36 min/mile – a full 24 seconds faster than my goal pace, which was awesome.