I went and changed my profile picture on Facebook to the picture (above) on the right. It’ was from my first ever Half Marathon in 2008 I was around 350lbs at this point. I knew that at some point I could walk the whole thing if needed but I ran until I had to walk/run and around mile 9 with all the cramps in my legs I was slowed to a slow walk and didn’t know if I would be able to finish. Looking at the picture brings back a lot of the emotions I felt on that day. Walking around that final corner with cramped hamstrings, quads, and calves. As I wobbled towards the finish line I saw the clock at 3:19:** and as the person put my finishers medal over my head I cried. I had just accomplished something that I didn’t think I’d do again and I just finished something without quitting. I had done it. The next 5 days I could hardly walk, the muscles, the chaffing, it was ugly. I had conquered my doubt that I could do it, and I faced pain that every muscle in my body told me to quit and that I had already come so far that I didn’t have anything to prove. But I didn’t quit and I didn’t give in, I finished.
“Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, a hour, a day, or even a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take it’s place. If i quit however, it lasts forever.” – Eric Thomas
When I made this picture (above) with me on the left from the Rock N Roll Half Marathon Arizona I only thought of progress and look at me running my 8th Half Marathon! As I wrote about my first Half Marathon experience I realized that during that Rock N Roll Arizona I faced the same pain that reared it’s head. I didn’t meet it again at mile 8, but rather mile 12. In the picture (right) you can see that something was not right. Everyone muscle and both Achilles tendons were telling me to quit. You can walk the rest of the way and still beat your Las Vegas Half Marathon time. I picked it up and finished the half in 2:14:20. The picture below is what my shoes looked like after the race. The point is that even through all the training, all the personal achievements, at some point you are going to reach the end of what you believe you can do. It’s at that point you find out if you’re an “I can” or “I can’t” person.
Some of my last blog posts had to do with goals and to keep reaching for new goals. It’s also important to look back and cherish the journey. Realize the struggles and how you dealt with them. You’re going to have those struggles again and how are you going to deal with them? Will you quit when your body tells you that it has nothing left, or will your mind prevail and find a way to keep going.
Moving forward to the SD Half Marathon this Sunday I’m nervous. Back in January when my coach said I should sign up for this race I felt that it was too close to Oceanside to run a 13.1 so I resisted back then. Fast forward to last week, when I checked my training plan and saw 14 mile run, but oddly enough this time around I feel like this won’t be a challenge at all. In fact I have a very good plan for this race since I’m not trying to PR or anything. My plan is to keep my HR steady in Z2 through most of the race and then around mile 9 start picking up the pace. There is a steady hill climb up Washington St. that starts around mile 9 and ends around mile 10. This hill looks like NO joke, but thankfully I do most of my training runs on a treadmill at incline level 4 so it won’t be a total shock to my system. The climb up I’ll probably shift into Z4 going up and then I’ll let my HR settle a bit for the final stretch. Report to come!