Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Whitings Can Do Hard Things

Whitings can do hard things!  It's a mantra I tell my kids all the time.  It's practically our family motto.  You see can't is a word not allowed in our house.  We encourage our kids to ask us or other "experts" when they feel discouraged, "What can I do?"  This takes their can't to an active process of working towards can.  Feeling like I needed to follow my same advice, I embarked on my own adventure this past summer. 

It all officially started on June 5th.  My friend had been trying to talk me into a half marathon for a week or so.  June 5th is National Running Day.  She made me aware that to register for the Philly Rock n' Roll half was in September and would be $20 cheaper if I registered that day.  Some late night texting and an approaching deadline made my decision for me right before midnight.  I was in.  I hadn't run this long for at least a decade, but I worked out regularly, ran somewhat consistently and knew that this might be the thing to help me get past my health plateau that I had hit.

Excitement was my first emotion.  I love trying new things.  Then started the training and finding a 12 week training routine, because that was how long until the race.  Group runs where I was always huffing and puffing took some of the excitement away and filled me with what did I get myself into.  I recruited another runner partner to make us a foursome instead of threesome.  I ran with each of these girls (Jess, JoAnn, and Christie) independently or in groups many times.  In the midst of summer and vacation plans we go off schedule and I was doing a lot more solo running, if at all while on vacation.  I struggled to refind my love of this idea after vacation.  My lonely long runs were sometimes exhausting and filled with boredom. 

Christie charged me through this with a plan to just do the distance to prove I could.  We did and that was enough to kick start my confidence.  After that training got better again.  I did more friend running and learned to appreciate my solo runs.  On race weekend, I felt great.  Not nervous at all.  I knew I could do this.  I had already proven that at least three times in training running over the required 13.1 miles.  My training had really started coming together.  I had let myself off the hook of setting a time goal beyond 2h30m.  About an 11 1/2 minute mile pace.  I wanted this to be fun not stressful.  And so on race morning we lined up, started, race and completed my own personal mission of proving more often than not what we think we can't do, we indeed can even if it means running about 400 practice miles.

And overall I suffered nothing more than some growing pains of developing mental and physical discipline, some blisters (regular and blood) and I have a wonky toenail that I'm still pretty sure will eventually fall off.  The race is over and I'm already looking for the next one.  Whitings not only can do hard things but we end up turning them into easy things too.

Race Start Line

 Race Finish Line

No comments: