It’s half marathon week! I vacillate between being incredibly nervous and incredibly excited about Saturday’s race. Mostly I am just ready to cross that finish line! While I have some lingering doubts about whether or not I can actually finish the half marathon, for the most part I feel like I’ve done what I could to prepare. I didn’t always meet my goals for my runs during the week, but I faithfully completed all of my long runs, including two 9 milers and a 10 miler this past weekend. Of course, that means that come Saturday I’ll still be running 3.1 miles longer than I have in training, but I’m trusting the training and adrenaline to carry me through. I know one thing: I WILL cross that finish line, no matter what! I may have to walk, hobble, or slowly jog across the finish, but I will finish.
Just a little less than 2 years ago, I decided not to run the half marathon I’d been training for. Honestly, I’ve regretted it ever since. I can’t believe I put in all that work, all that time, and didn’t run the race! But I can’t change the past, and I have to admit that I’ve enjoyed the whole process a lot more this time around. What’s interesting to me is that last time I was training I did walk/run intervals, but this time I’m running without planned walking breaks, and I would think that I would enjoy the walk/run method more. I’m not really sure why running has been more enjoyable this time, but maybe it’s because I don’t feel any pressure to finish this half marathon. I did feel pressure last time, as imaginary as it may have been. I am doing this for ME and only me, so I don’t have anything to prove to anyone else.
I am running because I love to run. I am running because it makes me feel strong and happy and free. I am running because I am grateful for these legs that God has given me, and I want to keep them healthy. I am running because I am not the same girl who used to sit on the couch and stuff her face with junk while watching The Biggest Loser. I’m not the same girl who used to go shopping for clothes and come home crying because once again the number on the jeans was bigger than it had ever been before. That girl didn’t dream of running a half marathon; she couldn’t even imagine running half a mile.
When Saturday comes, I’ll cross that finish line with a smile on my face and perhaps tears in my eyes, and I’ll know that I had it in me to become THIS girl all along.