Tag Archives: marathon

Faith, not fear.

7 Oct

 

Yesterday was a big day for me.  It was my birthday, my 30th birthday to be exact.  I celebrated another year of life and entered into a brand new DECADE!  I gotta be honest, the days and weeks leading up to my birthday were more overwhelming than the actual event.  My friends and family made sure to remind me that I was “getting old soon” and lovingly referred to me as Nana, Old Lady, and Grandma.  But swallowing the “30 Pill” was actually a pleasant event.  The same friends who poked fun at my old lady status were also the same friends who went out of their way to make my birthday an unforgettable event that I will cherish forever.  The amount of thought, time, and effort that went into executing an evening full of laughs did not go unappreciated or unnoticed.  Each gift, card, and treat was absolutely chosen with me in mind.  From the organic cupcakes, to the cards about kitties, exercise, and poop (yes i get a kick out of talking about poop),  the Shake Weight, and the Mexican Themed gift that completed my New Years resolution trifecta….it all was perfect.  I drove home and thought about how lucky I am to have so many wonderful people in my life.  I am truly a blessed person.

And I honestly feel GREAT about being 30.  With a half marathon freshly under my belt and plans for a triathlon and marathon in 2012, I have never felt more fit.  I am able to wake up every day, look in the mirror and truly feel happy about where I am in life.  As I reflect back on my 20’s, I see all the growth I did as a person.  It was a decade of discovery; I discovered who I was, who I valued and wanted around in my life, what I wanted as a career, and I solidified my beliefs and values.  I discovered parts of myself that had been dormant for the first two decades of my life.  I developed relationships with people who would prove to be the best friends of my life.  Discovery, however, also included disaster!  I made mistakes, made choices that hurt myself and those that I love, and lost significant people in my life.  The most profound and life changing lessons I learned happened through these mistakes.  It is only now, looking back on it all, that I realize the enormous value these experiences had on my life and development as an adult.

After all my reflecting and thinking about my life up until this point as well as my future from this day forward, I can boil it down to one phrase: Faith not fear.  I must never be afraid to act, I must never be afraid to make a mistake.  Fear is my worst enemy and will be the only thing that holds me back from achieving all the hopes and dreams I have for myself.  If I keep the phrase “Faith, not fear”  in mind as often as possible, I know that my next 30 years will be even more fruitful and rewarding than the first.  I will take chances, make decisions and do things that will take me far beyond my wildest dreams.  I know from experience that mistakes happen and they are some of life’s greatest lessons.  Instead of holding back for fear of making a mistake, I will act  and welcome the possibility of any outcome.   I look forward to each and every new experience of my 30’s.  BRING IT ON!!!

Half Marathon Training: final week & RACE DAY recap!

4 Oct

I DID IT! I successfully completed my half marathon, and boy am I thrilled!  Before I gush about how amazing the finish felt, I’ll back up and quickly recap my ninth (and final) week of training.

The final week of training messed with my head.  The physical requirements were minimal: I did my Monster Monday lift, ran 4 miles Tues, did 1hr of Spin on Wed, and ran a simple 2 miles on Thursday. And then that was it!! I felt so STRANGE doing nothing Fri/Sat, but there was only one word on my training sheet for those two days: Rest.  So I did!  I tried to rest my mind as well, which proved to be a lot more difficult than resting my body.  I was excited, I was nervous, I was anxious, and I was scared.  I tried my best to sleep on Saturday night, and ended up dreaming of the race. 

Sunday morning came around and the weather was RAINY and WINDY on Hampton Beach.  My umbrella turned inside out, and so did my belly.  I had not anticipated the possibility of inclement weather.  However, as the runners gathered at the start, the rain slowed to a mist and my fear turned into excitement.  With the sound of the gun we were off!  I had prepared a very carefully planned playlist that got me through.  I checked my watch at every mile, and at every mile it was the same- I averaged between 7:30 and 8 min pace.  I stopped to take an energy gel between miles 6-7 and took a few cups of Gatorade along the way as well. 

Miles 10, 11, and 12 were the toughest.  There were next to no supporters, as everyone wanted to be at the finish.  Thank goodness for the 2 little kids sticking their hands out for high fives- they saved me!!!  It was a true mental test for those last few miles.  I kept thinking about all my training: my early morning runs, my speed workouts, my lifting sessions, my determination to overcome injury, and my promise that I’d finish the race.  Before I knew it, the FINISH line was in sight.  I spotted my friends and family, cut over and gave some high five’s and crossed the finish line with pride and joy.  1:40:44!!!!

 

After reflecting and letting it all sink in for a day or so, I am able to realize the incredible accomplishment that I achieved.  It was no miracle, no feat of extraordinary measure.  No, it was all possible because of one thing: persistence.  I trained for 9 long weeks to get my body ready; I put one foot in front of the other [pun intended] and kept at it.  If I had attempted this race without training, or even with only 4 or 5 weeks training, I would’ve been setting myself up for failure.  By following through on a well thought out plan, I best prepared my body and mind to take on this challenge.  I realized that I will always be able to accomplish anything I put my mind to.  BUT, I must do it with 100% of what I have; persistence and consistency are the keys with which my dreams will turn into reality.  In the face of road blocks [like my ankle injury], I must always keep my eyes on my goal and persevere.

Completing this half marathon 4 days before my 30th birthday fulfilled a New Year’s Resolution and huge goal for me.  I am proud and excited to have it under my belt.  I look forward to training for and completing the FULL 26.2 next October!!!