When I first took the risk and signed up for a half-marathon, I most certainly had a twinge of doubt, wondering if I really could do it–if I could run the entire race and actually finish.
As I trained the doubt didn’t subside either.
Now. I’m a “check it off the list” kind of girl. You give me a box to check next to an item to do, and that’s all the motivation I need to do it, just so I can check off that box.
But training for this race required so much more from me than checking off my boxes by completing my weekly runs. And not that I didn’t know I’d be running far, but friends, it was really far. Nothing compared to a full marathon, I know, but for me, this was big!
And THE day finally came. We rose as the sun came up that Sunday morning, ready to race, my sister and me. We merged ourselves into the sea of over 20,000 people waiting to begin, and we were finally off and running after 25 minutes of patience.
Now, I had trained for this race. And I also had gotten used to some details that made my long runs more tolerable … primarily music to listen to and ice water to drink. I also did a lot of training early in the morning, since the summer here had been so hot. And this early morning training meant darkness and early morning shade.
So I guess it shouldn’t have been a surprise to me that there was no darkness or shade running along the beach at 9am. But let me just say, running into the sun was not a part of my training. Strongly dislike!
It also shouldn’t have been a surprise that there would be no ice water refills along the 13 mile route. But at mile 7, when I had been used to that ice water refill from the mini-mart, it wasn’t pretty. And combine that with the fact that I was running into the blazing sun … let’s just say … no bueno.
And just as you’re feeling sorry for me. It gets better. Just ask my sister who ran next to me the whole time. A while back, I intended to make a run-mix for my iPod that I could listen to during my race, but I never actually got around to it. That’s because I had used Pandora while I trained, which for the most part worked beautifully, and saved me time too.
That is, until I tried to turn it on by the beach. Who knew there’s no Pandora signal by the beautiful beach? Who would have thought that Pandora would endlessly buffer for 9 out of the 13 miles I ran? Right? Ugh! And yes, it’s true. While my sister ran right along with her cutesy little arm-band iPod playing right into her ear, I ran 9 out of all 13 miles without any music at all. Just me and the air and the sound of my feet, running into the sun, without ice water.
But thanks to my sister, who by the way is AMAZING, I did it. Through my mishaps and all, I finished. And wow was it hard. It stretched me more than I thought I’d ever be stretched. But I made it, adversity and all.
And you know what?
Whatever’s got you doubting in yourself today…
Whatever you might be risking…
Whatever is stretching you beyond what you think you can take…
You can do more, handle more, and accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
With diligence and persistence…
With just doing the next thing…
By just checking off the next box…
You will make it.
You will finish your race too,
And the sense of accomplishment you experience, will be worth it in the end.
Trust me friend, it really will!
Have you ever wondered if you really could finish your “race”?
What’s stretching you these days?