One More Run At It

The third week is here.   Already.  I said I needed three weeks, and my how they have flown by.  It is hard for me to believe that two and a half weeks ago, I was crossing the finish line feeling excited, exhausted, overwhelmed, and many other things.   Things that I don't know if I will ever be able to put into words.   What caught me most by surprise was the let down the next day.   I had thought the feeling of accomplishment would be huge on Monday.   I expected to feel proud of crossing my first finish line.   What greeted me Monday morning when I opened my eyes were tears.   Why tears?   As a multitude of feelings washed over me, I had so much to think about and to process.   All of the hard work and energy in preparing were not in vain.   I felt ready for the run.   It wasn't that I was not pleased with the results.   Rather, the preparation, anticipation, and run were done.  The feelings of "Now What?" resonated so loudly within me.  

In the days that followed the run, a common question was "Are you going to run a marathon?" to which I can honestly answer, that at this point, I have no desire to run a full marathon.  Another question was "Are you going to run another race?"  That question didn't have an answer.   I promised myself that I would take the three weeks of "recovery" to process my feelings, put my running shoes on again, and see how everything "feels" again. 

Those three weeks are nearly up and in this time, I have found that I have a lot more confidence in myself.   During training, I would cut a run short because I didn't think I could make it one step further.  Now, I know the truth, there is nothing in the training that I cannot do because I ran 13.1 miles.    I am becoming comfortable running by myself.   During my training, I was blessed to have my dad by my side for most of the time.   He was a constant source of encouragement whether we were out for 30 minutes or for 10 miles.   Since the run, I have taken some time to run on my own and get inside my own head and now know that I can do these shorter distances on my own and I am building confidence in myself.  I faced the fear on Sunday night that I could stop running and training without a blink of an eye, or at least that is what I felt that particular night.   Monday morning found me running hills, listening to podcasts, and glad that I had taken the time to run.   Can I just give it up?   I don't know.   I like how I felt when I was running, I liked that I was doing something good for my body.

To back track a little, on Sunday night, my mom brought a book back to me that I had given her to read.   It is a very inspiring book about a young man who has accomplished much in his life so far.   With many Olympic medals to mark his achievements, he wrote a book about his training and his inspirations.   His book is titled "Zero Regrets" as that is his thought process when he is training.   When the training gets difficult, he reminds himself that he wants to complete the trainings and do his best so that when he lays down to sleep at night, he can look back over his day with no regrets.   I kept reminding myself about his book when I was preparing for my run.   This book found its way back to my desk.   I have not put the book away yet as I keep pondering "zero regrets."

I ask myself, if I didn't run again, would I regret it?   If I didn't give running another chance, would I wonder what it would feel like to run a race when I knew I could do it.   The answer to both of those questions, I found out this morning, is yes.   My dad mentioned to me in April that there were a couple of options for another half marathon run at the end of the summer.   At the time running was hard, I wasn't sure I enjoyed it, but somewhere deep inside me, I knew at that moment, I would most likely be running another race at the end of the summer. 

Today the decision has been made.   The date is on my calendar again, and I am going to run another half marathon.  I think.  I say I think because it feels so new, and I wonder if perhaps I may change my mind.   This morning I had the same butterflies in the tummy feeling as when I committed to the first run.   With a few tears in my eyes, I called my support group and asked them if they would be there at the finish line.    With a resounding yes, the decision has been made and I am going to run again.   I have heard that the training will be harder this time but that the run will be easier.   So, with a nervous excitement, I look at the calendar with anticipation of what the next nine and a half weeks will hold for me.

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