Sometimes in life all we need is words of support and encouragement from family and friends to achieve goals or at least make attempts to achieve it. I am no different, I like the notion of thinking that my friends stand behind me and support me, even as I chase a crazy dream.
It is all these words of support and encouragement that is helping me stay focussed as I stress and worry over running, walking, crawling or maybe being dragged over the finish line of my marathon.
A few days ago, I was once again questioning my ability and contemplating changing from a full marathon to a half marathon, when a friend sent me this text “You have determination and that is one of the things I adore about you”. Just knowing that I have friends and family who believe in me, gives me a boost and the morale I needed to say yes I can do this.
Another friend reminded me that I had the same fear and despair when I was training for my first half-marathon and that I eventually enjoyed it so much that I went on to run a dozen more half marathons. I had to remind her that someone I loved ran that first half marathon with me giving me the added support and encouragement I needed to cross that finish line.
However, maybe they all have a point in what they are saying. But this is the first time that I have worried so much about completing something. This all might be because I am a bad loser. Not really a bad loser, but more a person who likes to achieve certain goals I set for myself. I wish I was trying to achieve my goal of starting a coffee shop and not obsessing over a goal of finishing a marathon, but yet it is a goal.
With all these thoughts swirling in my head, I set off on a cool crisp evening for the long last run before my race. The streets lined with fallen leaves, the barren trees remind me that fall is here. As much as I enjoy the changing leaves of color and the cooler temps, it also reminds me that winter will be here soon, which makes me not want to enjoy fall as much as I should.
I continue to run for hours, letting my mind and body adjust to long hours of running. The question I kept asking myself the entire time was how fast should I run or maybe how fast could I run. There is 7 hour cut off time limit, so in my already exhausted mind I try to calculate what my pace should be in order not to be the last person across that finish line. Right now, just the thoughts of running 7 hours leaves me exhausted.
Three hours and 17 miles later, as much as I wanted to continue, darkness begins to set in, making me want to abandon my 20 mile run and head home to relax my sore muscles.
I was hoping I would have outrun my anxiety for this race, but 17 miles later, I still have the same feelings of trepidation.
But as my running friend said to me “You can do this ! Just put one foot in front of the other, that is the only thing you need to do, just remember that when it gets tough”.
So with all the words of support and encouragement I have, there is definitely no turning back now. So as I pound one mile after the other, I have no doubt, the words of my friends would be ringing in my ear.