This blogging thing takes time, and time is hard to come by when you're training for a half-marathon -- and then a full.
But it's all worth it, and that was validated for me Sunday at the Heart Mini-Marathon. It was one hour, 19 minutes and 45 seconds of pain. But it took only 15 seconds to make my entire day.
I had never done this event before, and I always struggle mentally when I run a course for the first time. I'm a planner. I like to know what's coming and when, and how best to approach it. And Sunday morning, all I knew was it was cool, kind of drizzly, and I had a series of hills to deal with as best I could.
Based on my Key West half-marathon in January and my recent training runs, I set a goal of finishing in 1:20 or better. I didn't really know if I could do it, so I didn't tell anyone, and I tried not to look at my GPS too often. I just did what I'm good at doing -- I kept going.
At the 9-mile flag, I saw the time board and I knew I was close to making -- or missing -- my goal. So I ran, by God. Ran HARD. Ran like my life depended on it.
That worked for about .15 miles. Which meant I spent the final .15 miles blathering, quite audibly, that I could not possibly finish. Inspired by the woman nearby who told me I indeed could do it, and by my own stubbornness, again I just did what I do, and I kept going. It was ugly; it was excruciating; it had to have been comical to see.
But when I learned that I made my goal by 15 seconds, it was the Best Thing Ever. I don't especially like to run, but I like how I feel when I'm done. And I like that I can set goals and actually achieve them more often than not. I've spent the past 18 months really struggling with some internal battles -- Me vs. Me is a fight I can't seem to win -- and running provides me a rare to chance to feel successful.
Today, with hamstrings griping, I completed a 12.3-mile training run. No land-speed records were broken, but the goal was to do the mileage, and I surely did.
Again, parts were ugly, parts were excruciating, and I'm sure parts were comical to see.
But that's just me out there, doing what I do -- keeping on going.
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