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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?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    good luck to you.
    2096 days ago
  • DEBK0923
    Great Job, I'm just starting to run, keep going
    2111 days ago
    emoticon I did my first 5K in march of this year. I got passed by a few walkers - i will never laugh at race walkers
    2119 days ago
    2128 days ago
    You will run further and faster in the future than you can even imagine!
    2128 days ago
  • SBATES63
    I toyed with the idea of running a couple of years ago, and worked all summer to be able to run 5km. Your friend is right. Our 5km is our marathon. And who knows what's next.
    2131 days ago
    SKIRNIR -- I have walked 3 half marathons so far. My best time was 2:58 and I am damn proud of it. In all 3 of these races there were many, many "runners" who came in well after I did, despite having started in an earlier coral. Don't ever belittle your accomplishments. I've walked several 10 kms and even 5 km races , I'm 57 and have a bad right knee and other issues, but I still train months for these races. I actually have done a run/walk 5 km but I was slower than when I walk only.

    I did a 10 km in Cleveland on Sunday and I started trying to push passed another walker who was younger, lighter and obviously more fit than I am. I had to just keep saying to myself... "do your own race" because I couldn't keep up with her, but I still could do a pretty good 1:27 race my way.

    2132 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/22/2012 5:48:05 PM
    You go girl! emoticon
    2132 days ago
    I've been going round & round in my mind that i want to start running, but have come up with a jillion reasons why I can't! Thanks for helping me get motivated to start moving, NOT just think about it!
    2132 days ago
    You give me hope that some day I too can run. I've got several old high school friends that run marathons and one of my secret dreams is to one day be able to run with them...not in a marathon but maybe on one of their training runs.
    2132 days ago
    Hope you do well and it all goes according to plan. Good luck and thank you for sharing.
    2133 days ago
    SKIRNIR - That is just rude of them. Any runner I know appreciates walkers. Frankly, those two were just a&*holes. Sorry you had that terrible experience. Especially considering your accomplishment. You walked that thing faster than I could run it. Screw 'em. You're a champion!
    2133 days ago
    2133 days ago
    I bet you can run a half, given time and training. I am glad there is a all for one attitude for runners, there doesn't seem to be much respect for walkers though. I mean, I walked a half marathon, my first and only so far and had to listen to two runners talk about how ashamed they would be to have to walk across the finish line. My accomplishment means so much less because it is walking, even though I walked a half marathon in 3 hours and 13 minutes, just under.
    2133 days ago
    I am entering my first 5k june 10th, for arthritis. My brother in law just finished the Bluenose half marathon in 1:57:57 he wanted to be under 2hrs. I used to wonder do I want to run, but was lazy, and naw I can't do it, now drs orders not to do it as I have severe arthritis in my knees. so will walk and do my best. but watching dave do the half, I was tearful, for those doing it, young, old, even one guy in crutches froma car accident, and I just thought I want to do something momentus like this too.
    first step 5km walk for arthritis and I am signed up.
    you are doing great!! Keep on!!
    My blog has pic of brothter in law he has only been running a year and loves it.
    2133 days ago
    2133 days ago
    From a fellow beginner runner, I can't tell you how encouraging this blog was to me and so many others. It is hard to get that little voice out of your head that is telling you something you don't agree with. Kudos to you for putting it in to perspective. I will use some of your words of wisdom (and quotes-which by the way- I LOVE)for an upcoming 5k in June and the 1/2 I will be doing in September. YOU GO GIRL!!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2133 days ago
    2133 days ago
    The mental tapes are what keep us from succeeding! You sound good. Hope everything goes well for you! Chris emoticon
    2133 days ago
  • CROWLEY123
    I love the idea! Thank you for inviting others to join you in support of your friends.
    I have done a 1/2M, and I run regularly (although it is usually 5-6 miles a day) I am more of a casual runner, than a serious one. I do love it, and I will run with you. Not knowing what time zone you are in...I will run early AM in EST! emoticon
    2133 days ago
    Thank you.
    2133 days ago
    I'm right there with you. I've been telling a few Sparkpeople members about my twin sister who runs marathons. I don't think anyone wakes up wanting to do it either. In fact, my goal is to start with a 5K. I'm still trying to find the one that's right for me. Way to go and stick with it. You sound like your on the path to success. :-)
    2133 days ago
    2133 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2133 days ago
    My daughter and I both run....she can run for a long time and I can run about a mile. We are on different pages but yet we are the same! I run for my health and she runs because she wants to go into the army! I love the way running makes me feel! I think it's awesome that you run 3 miles and I look up to people like you and my daughter! Have a great day!

    2133 days ago
    Thanks for your words. The biking community is like that too. (bicycle not motorcycle - although I suppose they are as well.) As I rode yesterday I waved at every biker I saw. It's a wonderful thing to exercise and discover a supportive community out there! GOod luck with your running....Robert has inspired me more times than I can count and in fact, he is the reason I have decided to do a century ride this September!
    2133 days ago
    Thanks for sharing
    2133 days ago

    2133 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/21/2012 7:12:22 AM
  • SANDIK9806
    What a great blog!! I am not a runner, I've tried, I just would rather Zumba my tail off...that being said, I'm going to do the 5K color run in July and you just helped me bunches. I've always wanted to beat my own time, but I also always have it in my head how I'm going to stack up against my teammates...ones who like to run...ugh! I also get out there and think that, at the beginning of my 'training', I should be able to pick up and run (ok, jog at best) with the wind. Thanks for the inspirational words!
    2133 days ago
    2133 days ago
    A runner I"m not, and I really don't aspire to be one. Yea to those who love the sport and are improving daily.

    2133 days ago
    From those of us who are just starting towards similar goals as yours, I say Thank You. It's nice to hear that the focus should be on ourselves and not what others are doing better than you because one day, we will be right beside them cheering eachother on because we are doing the best we can in that exact moment.
    2133 days ago
    wow emoticon
    2133 days ago
  • JAMER123
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    I am not a runner nor can I run for health reason but I cheer you on as you head towards your ultimate goals!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2133 days ago
    I just entered my first 5k in April. I didn't manage to run the entire race non stop, but I did finish running into the finish line. I will be signing up for my 3rd on at the end of this month and I hope that my body will allow me to run the entire race, but if it doesn't happen I will be fine with that, because each time I doing something that I hadn't done since the late 90's. I agree with the statement and not worry about others runners, but just enjoy the moment of accomplishing new milestone in your fitness level. Rejoice and enjoy! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2134 days ago
    You might be amazed at yourself. I have a friend that started running after he was 54 and before you know it he was running marathons. His runs just got longer and longer. He has run marathons in NY, NC, Fl and Greece. He has now turned 60 and is still running. He has never "Quote trained" he runs on the treadmills and outdoors. This man had experience extreme back pain before he started running. The human spirit, body and mind are truly extra ordinary!

    You go girl and keep us posted on your runs!
    2134 days ago
    I am always surprised when I meet a runner I don't like. Most are supportive and friendly. ...... and love it when someone discovers running!

    See you at the finish line!
    2134 days ago
  • REENIE131
    A saying I've been using a lot lately, with others and myself, is "It's not that you can't. It's that you haven't...yet."

    2134 days ago
  • FARIS71
    Never say never! Love it!
    2134 days ago
    Great blog and you can do it!!!

    BTW, I started running 12 years ago and I remember that I had to struggle just to run 10 minutes. Well, 2 weeks from today I'm running my first half marathon and then in October I'll be running my first full marathon!! So far in training, I've built up to 13.5 miles. Been a LONG road to get where I am. Take it slow and steady - slow and steady wins!! If anyone told me 12 years ago that one day I'd run a marathon, I'd have laughed at them "ya right!!"
    2134 days ago
    Runners are THE BEST - no better sense of community and encouragement!

    2134 days ago
    2134 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2134 days ago
    Way to go! Who knows maybe you may go beyond your own expectations in the run.
    2134 days ago
  • SPEEDY143
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2134 days ago
    emoticon you go girl!
    2134 days ago
    Thanks for sharing! :)
    2134 days ago
    Sounds like you have an awesome coach!! Way to share and inspire others :)
    2134 days ago
    Great goal. To be in a marathon no matter how long it is. I can walk 3 miles but running for me is out. To much stress on my joints. But I sure would love to be able to run it. It is your marathon. And congrats for doing it. I heard they changed the route this year.
    2134 days ago
    Great blog! Unfortunately I read it too late to joint you this morning but I would have if I'd caught it sooner. I am 57, somewhat overweight still, and also a new runner with ups and downs over the past couple of years and a lot of starts and stops but I keep coming back to it. I've run several 5k races and right now that's as far as I can go but maybe somewhere down the line I'll do a longer one. I've dreamed of it and although I am no where near it yet I still think it's attainable. At least a half marathon. But it's one step at a time. I am definitely not fast, and have even been in very last place a couple of times. But we do it for ourselves not for anyone and no matter how fast or slow you go you know what it's taken you to get out there and do it. I have no idea what your times are like but it doesn't matter because you're going to rock it! It so beats sitting on the couch!
    2134 days ago
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