Thursday, September 10, 2009

Getting over it

Runner is a title I use rather loosely. I would have always classified myself as a "runner"; a casual runner, but a runner, nonetheless. Most runs lasted 3-5 miles, and to be honest, I felt just fine with that. I lack that competitive quality, so anything more than casual running wasn't really up my alley. It was physical activity. I enjoyed it. So why not?
During my pregnancy, as most women might do, I was proactively devising my post-pregnancy weight loss plan. My plan of attack was to hit the streets running. I was a runner, right? Intelligently enough, I decided to set a goal. I needed something to work toward. But vaguely enough, I sort of said here and there that I would run a half marathon (any 1/2, I didn't really know or care which one) within six months of having the baby.
Well, baby came and my body just wasn't quite the same. No kidding? As my body healed, I got back to walking and, slowly but surely, to running. Physically, it hurt. A lot. But it felt good, too.
Weeks went by and that casual goal I'd set to run a 1/2 kept creeping up on me. I knew I should find one to run, but to be honest, I was scared. There. I said it. I was so apprehensive about signing up for something, committing to it, and then run the risk of failing. So I did what anyone would do. I signed up for a race and decided not to tell a soul. Correction: I told Dave I was going to do it, but I swore him to secrecy. No one could know of my failure if they didn't know what I had failed to do, right? So lame. I know.
Now the training began. I blindly searched for some sort of a training program online. I found a really easy, straight-forward, just-get-it-done kind of program which became my confessional. It was the one thing I had to fess up to when I wouldn't reach the number of miles I needed for the week...or when my Wed. run really happened on Thurs. and my Thurs. run never really happened at all. My first long run was a bit of a shock. At about mile 5, abdominal muscles I never knew existed ached and ached with every step I took. Thirteen miles? I wasn't so sure about this idea anymore. Nonetheless, my commitment to do this was a little more real. I could do it. I felt I was on my way. Oh, but I was still so nervous.
Finally one night I just sort of blurted out to my in-laws my plan to run the 1/2. It was like I'd revealed some dirty secret, when, let's be honest, it really wasn't that big of a deal. Surprisingly, it felt OK to finally have someone else know what I was doing. Sort of like having someone else on my side. It felt good. So during our family trip this summer, I told my parents and siblings of my plan. Mind you, pretty much my entire family has already run a 1/2 or full marathon. But still, they were excited for me and proud that I was working toward my goal. Instead of feeling more apprehension about the possibility of letting all of these people down, I felt great.
A few weeks later, my "secret" came out during Young Women's at church. And let's be honest, anything discussed in YW could quite possibly end up in the ward bulletin or discussed over the pulpit. But the girls and leaders were all so excited for me. Some were probably a little shocked, too. Yet again, instead of being anxious, I felt excited. And soon, 10 miles became 11, then 12, and even 14.
Labor Day was the big day. My big day. The completion of this somewhat half-hearted goal I'd set months ago was staring me in the face. At 7:20 a.m. the gun went off. And off I went.
Thankfully, 2+ hours later, I put a check mark next to that goal of mine. I'd done it. But even more than completing my goal, I feel like I finally stared my inadequacy complex in the face and got over it. My husband, my family, my friends are here to support me, to cheer for me, to help me complete whatever race or whatever goal it is I set out to achieve. Instead of wasting energy worrying about letting them down, I can channel that energy into doing, into moving forward, into accomplishing whatever it is I want to do. Sure, it can be risky, but why not?
I most definitely didn't win this little race. Really, I wasn't even close. But I feel so satisfied with how I finished in the end. Cliche I know, but my journey to complete this goal was so much more valuable than crossing that finish line. I learned confidence. I learned strength. I learned to trust in myself and the people most important to me. I learned that I can do hard things. And you know what, I think I'll do it again.

10 comments:

Beck n' Ben said...

You freakin' ROCK!! I love it!!
Bex

Beck n' Ben said...

I am angry..... Big old long post that didn't post. Dumb iPhone. Oh well. In summary: thanx for sharing and next up: photos. We have a shoot Saturday afternoon.....

Sherry said...

We had such a great time! Thanks for including us in your success!

Jana said...

Good job Katie, such an awesome accomplishment.

Jamie said...

Way to go Katie! I *was* a "runner" and never took the leap of a 1/2 marathon - that is a big accomplishment! What's next for you?!

Megan and Ben said...

I am so proud of you (still...even though this is a late comment)! Good job Katie and I had to laugh at what you said about your little secret...soooo true. Admitting is the first step right =)
Love you long time. Just so happy you were so happy and met your goal!

melissa said...

Congrats Katie! That is awesome. Love the honesty...made me laugh out loud cause I can totally relate. Love ya girl!

Lizbeth said...

Awesome Kate-nip! It's such a great feeling when all is said and done! I started bawling on the home-stretch when I did mine haha Good times!

crystalyn and rob said...

hey lady! good for you! that is awesome. I have done a couple and it the best feeling! next time have dave run with you. that is really exciting to cross the finish line together (even if i did slow down rob by like an hour....!)

Nat and Dave said...

That is so awesome!! Way to go! I loved this post!!