Saturday, May 19, 2012
So...tomorrow my trainer, Robert (ON2VICTORY) and WONDERWOMAN (from the Half Marathon Team) are running the Green Bay Cellcom Half Marathon. Apparently, ABSOLUTZERO (also from Half Marathon Team) is running the full marathon. These people rock. I can't say it enough.
I have just been reading about training for the marathon (as in, the 26.2 miler). That s*&t is CRAZY, y'all! Here is a great quote that I actually can't get out of my head:
"In the marathon, even when the race is going as planned, you will get to the point where you question your existence," says Willie Rios, who helped coach Jenny Spangler to victory in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials.
You might be thinking, "Leah??? Why are you reading about marathons??? Hmmm?"
Yeah...I'm not going to say the word "can't" or "never" to myself ever again...but I can assure you, this is NOT on my radar right now. AT ALL. However, reading about the ridiculous amount of work and time and training that these runners (really, a completely different LEVEL of runner) put into training just sheds a whole new light on everything I am doing as a beginning runner.
I mean, no one starts off running a marathon or even WANTING to run one. No...you start by walking a half mile. Then, maybe a mile. I remember when walking 4 miles every day (after healing from my extensive injuries) was the greatest victory for me. And now my focus is on a seemingly simple 5k. Except...it's not simple...not when you're just starting. When I wrote that blog about finally running a distance of 5k for the first time, Robert was so incredibly excited for me and so supportive. It wasn't until the next day that I realized how special this was and said, "Why were you so excited? You've run a marathon. A 5k is like nothing for you." He responded, "The 5k IS your marathon right now. It's no different than me running a marathon...mine is just a longer distance. The feeling of victory and accomplishment is the same."
Look...I know I go on and on here about how excited I am to meet new goals in my running, etc. And it does seem like it's happening pretty fast. I don't know why...my body is just taking to it better than I expected.But I never want anyone who is just beginning...ESPECIALLY those on our 2013 Indy Mini Team...to feel like they're not going to be able to complete the half next year because they aren't as far along as me or Robert or any other runner. It's been a huge deal for me to try to learn the most important lesson in running...that it's not about comparing yourself to anyone else. If anything, it's about comparing yourself to yourself.
I just love this quote: "It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you will learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit." - Dr. George Sheehan
I suspect I still have quite a bit to learn about not comparing myself to other runners. I am trying to mentally prepare myself for my first 5k on July 28th with this in mind. But, on race day...my FIRST race day...I'm sure this will be one of my biggest struggles.
Comparing ourselves to others can destroy a workout regime. We've got to stop this.
One of the greatest things about the running community, though, that I've discovered rather quickly is their complete and undying support for one another. Seriously...the first time you go for a run on a crowded trail, you'll see. Apparently, it's not just Indiana's Hoosier Hospitality. I have read so many statuses of runners saying how pleasant it is to wave at other runners as they pass. It's like a big family...and no matter how successful one is in their own running, they are always looking out for the others.
In light of this spirit of cameraderie, I choose to run WITH my friends tomorrow. Race start time is 7am EDT. I will be out the door at 6:55am. I might only run 3 miles with them (because that is the limit of what my body can do right now)...but my spirit will be with them and will be cheering them on the entire way.
Wanna join me?
For you...WONDERWOMAN, ABSOLUTZER0 and ON2VICTORY...we run