Tomorrow I will be running my third half marathon. Um, what? Once wasn’t torture enough?? Obviously not.
I have to admit though, that through training for my first half (October 2010) to training for Hospital Hill (tomorrow), I have grown and changed so much; not only as a runner but as a person. I can’t quite explain my relationship with running, but that I really, truly, admittedly (cringe) love it. I love it because it humbles me, challenges me, and is rewarding. But never at the same time. Dang. I wish I got a medal for every time running was hard…I’d have two trophy cases full by now.
Let me continue to be mushy gushy, I’m sorry. Hospital Hill is one of the hardest half marathons in the country. Because it is in June in the midwest and there are lots of hills. Hospital Hill…duh. Knowing this, I forced myself to train like I am going to be running a hard race. This meant I did hill days, speed days, and made sure my long runs were hilly. This also means that a few choice words escaped my mouth, a few bugs bit me, and I got down and dirty with the trails. It made me realize how mental the race tomorrow is going to be.
*Note: my goal for tomorrow is to simply finish the race. I don’t plan on breaking any world records, so you can sleep in all you want to tomorrow without worrying about missing out on the best news of my life. I have trained, I am ready, and I just want to cross the finish line without collapsing. That’s all, promise. Without collapsing.
Though I am physically prepared and conditioned, the past few weeks I have secretively been working on my mental game . To ease the pain in my legs and eyes from sweat getting in them, I am running each mile of Hospital Hill tomorrow for someone or something to keep me motivated, thankful and mentally in check. I’ll call them ‘dedication miles’ and here they are:
Mile 1: For Jesus, because He comes first as it should be! For giving my my legs, ability and determination to run.
Mile 2: for the people whose lives I want to help through running and see them eternally changed
Mile 3: for the 10k runners who are turning off to finish the second half of their race…why am I doing this again?
Mile 4: for my Aunt, because I never would have ran the Trolley Run if she hadn’t suggested it to me a year and a half ago and probably wouldn’t be running my third half marathon either
Mile 5: to disprove any doubt that I ever felt about myself and ability to be a runner
Mile 6: is for that stupid, completely vertical hill that kicked my butt and yet I ran countless times over the past three months
Mile 7: to make Momma bear proud!
Mile 8: for the old, overweight, insecure person that I used to be…the girl who never dreamed of running anywhere except through the Taco Bell drive through
Mile 9: for my best friend Aleeza who is currently rocking out working for XBOX in Seattle when I know she would secretly rather be cheering me on in 90 degree heat in Kansas…but I know she’ll be cheering me on…in her sleep. Because Seattle is two hours behind us in time. Boo.
Mile 10: for the swimming pool that I will be submersed in the remainder of the afternoon after the race..woohoo!
Mile 11: for my future as a runner, and the fact that after this half marathon the next training plan I will be focusing on is the one taking me to my first 26.2!!!!
Mile 12: for all the spectators and people watching and cheering…they came to see me RUN not to see me WALK!
Mile 13.1: FOR THE MEDAL!!!
“Runners are a pretty gutsy bunch. We constantly push ourselves to discover limitations, then push past them.” -Bart Yasso