A couple of days ago my best friend and I were having a heart to heart about how our training was going. We’re both 3 months in now, but we have very different approaches and are doing better on different aspects of running. She’s doing great with actually running and fast approaching the 15 minute mile goal pace. I’m doing better with my endurance, and mileage, but I’m still walking the vast majority of the time and my pace is still more than 20 minutes a mile. While it’s academically interesting to be experiencing both of our approaches, it can also be discouraging when I want my pace to drop so very badly.
I explained to her during this conversation that while I have no doubt I will be able to cover 13.1 miles by the end of training, that I just don’t know if my pace will ever get to where I need to to be without being swept from the race course for being too slow. I also mentioned that I was feeling like due to the metal in my leg, running for an extended length of time may never happen for me. When I’m running I have a pretty pronounced limp that I’m not experiencing walking, it causes me pain, and makes running really uncomfortable. After I said this, she suggested that if I wanted to I could sell my bib, and not do the race.
Ummm, nope. I wouldn’t dream of not starting the race, not trying my best, not putting in everything I have; even if I don’t cross the finish line.
I made a commitment to myself that I was going to chase this goal I have had for almost a decade. That means that I’m going to give it absolutely everything I have, because its not just about crossing the finish line. It’s about every step, every mile, every day of training that I put in even before I get there. No matter how I do, even if I get swept, I will know that I have worked my butt of to get to the point I did. I had the courage to start this journey to completing the Princess Half Marathon, and I am going to do it.
That being said, I have come to grips with the thought that I may not do it in 2018. I may get swept, and that will be OK as long as that’s not the end of my journey. Getting swept just means that I need another year of training to improve, and I try again in 2019.
Because that’s how it gets done – right? That’s how athletes move forward and improve. You set goals and reach for them. But if you don’t succeed the first time it doesn’t mean that you give up on the goal, on the dream. It means you work harder for next year when the competition comes around again. You change coaches, get a new training plan, put in more hours, and keep striving to make that dream a reality. It’s not all about one race and one moment, its about the strength you develop on your journey to get there.