I am less than one week away from running in my first half marathon. Sunday, I will be racing in the Miami Marathon alongside running superstars, whom I imagine will be loving every moment of this big day.
I will not be that person. I absolutely hate running.
No way. Give me a yoga mat, take these sneakers off my feet.
“Ashley, why on earth are you running a half marathon if you hate running?”
Well, because I needed it. After the turmoil of my last year, two miscarriages, and relocating my family across the country, I needed a personal win. I needed SOMETHING to change and something to PUSH me out of a personal rut. I decided to do something absolutely out of my comfort zone.
Run 13.1 miles.
Reason #1: To Heal
I have lost two babies in the last calendar year. I felt really broken (and sometimes still do feel broken), like my body can’t do the thing it was designed to do. Training for this race has really forced me to deal with my relationship with my body. Before the race, lets just say my body and I were barely on speaking terms. I felt betrayed, hurt, and broken.
I trained for a half marathon back in college. I got injured and dropped out. I had so many insecurities about whether my broken body could pull this off.
Here is the truth, I didn’t sign up for the race until THE LAST DAY. In the back of my mind, even after weeks of training, I believed the lie that I couldn’t do this.
Week after week, I kept asking my body to keep running… and it did.
I ran 10 miles last Friday. My body has already done more for me in this process than I could have imagined. It is only now that I am beginning to see that I didn’t really need to put my body through this process to prove to me anything. Even through the losses, my body has always been there for me. It has been through so much with me, and I am thankful for that. This race is going to be a beautiful moment for it to shine.
Reason #2: Personal Growth
I trained for a half marathon once before. I signed up to do the race with a friend of mine (more like a sister) who was healing from a tough relationship. As I mentioned before, I got sidelined due to injury, but I admittedly didn’t do much to try rehab and keep training. The day of the race was freaking powerful, but man did it suck to run/walk the 5K when everyone else was running that half marathon. I promised myself that I would run a half marathon.
That was 8 years ago. Yeah, I have this bad habit of promising myself something and then not following through. It got worse when I became a mom. I prioritize other people before myself. I minimize my personal needs because I am busy meeting the needs of others.
I need to change the habit of bailing on MYSELF. I need to physically rewire my brain to habitually keep promises I made to ME. Running a race is the perfect tool to do this work. It is straight therapy work, you guys, here is why:
-You HAVE to stick to your training schedule. You may have room to move a day around, but if you don’t complete that run, it is over. The entire schedule is off and you aren’t going to be ready. I found myself telling my husband, family, and whoever else “I have to do this” regardless of the convenience to them. I trained during the holidays, I trained in the heat, in the cold, and even while traveling. I need MORE of this mentality in my life especially when it comes to my self care. I HAVE to get this done.
-Every time you fight the urge to stop running, you are honoring yourself. If anyone has run for more than like… oh, 7 minutes, you have dealt with this demon. The demon that says “Ahhh, this is miserable, please, just walk for a second!”. Guess what, when you train for a half marathon, the demon is FIERCE. If I can remind myself of why I am doing this, why it is important to me to complete this, to follow through…. THAT is how you start to honor yourself and stick to your goals. So naturally I dealt with this mental battle about every 30 seconds, and will continue to do so on Sunday during the race.
And we all know that starting good habits has to do with repetition right? So I will have a lot of practice.
But can I tell you how good it feels when you do honor yourself, and don’t give up on yourself? I share this story to encourage you to take chances. What is a promise you made to yourself that you have abandoned? If you are in a dark place, make an active decision to do something about it. Start something new. Push yourself. Honor yourself.
And you best believe on Sunday, I’ll be out there… taking down those 13.1 miles at my ridiculously slow pace, but I don’t care. I will finish and thats amazing.
If you are feeling “stuck” and need motivation, let’s chat! Contact me about a session today!