Monday, December 20, 2010

Atlanta Half Marathon

Last year, I posted a huge announcement on this blog about my decision to run a half marathon. I set the date of December 12th to participate in the Kiawah Island Half Marathon. What I didn't know at the time was, that was my older brother's graduation date... I could not miss that for the world because... well... he started working towards his Bachelor's degree in 1997. This was a HUGE accomplishment to say the least....
I decided this year that I was going to do it, and since there is a great half marathon right here in Atlanta, I figured it was the perfect time. It was the morning of Thanksgiving, and I thought what better way to start off a day of glutinous eating.... I'll run 13.1 miles, and eat to my heart's content with not one ounce of guilt.

This experience was such a time of great self reflection for me. First of all, I am not a runner. In fact, I don't even like running. I can say this now because I spent the past 3 months telling myself that I did like to run because I needed to stay in a good head space until after the race.... now its over, now I can say it... I DO NOT LIKE RUNNING! Why then would I EVER decide to participate in a half marathon?

I guess I just decided that I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone, set a goal that would be very hard for me to get through and accomplish it. When I found out that my brother's graduation date fell on the race day of the first half marathon that I planned on doing, my first reaction was relief. I was SO relieved that I didn't have to put myself through that... It was nice to say, " Well I started training and I was going to do it, but something beyond my control came up and I couldn't." After I thought about that, I was kind of disgusted. When did I become this person that runs from a challenge? I knew then that I had to prove to myself that I could do it.

I would love to say that I woke up with a fresh sense of strength and purpose, and was very disciplined and dedicated to this new task....... but I can't. I had meltdowns, breakdowns, my limbs went numb, pains in my back, my shins, my hair was a mess.... I was a mess. I know one thing for sure. It took the support of my very loving and patient friends to get me through this. I could never have done this without their great advice and words of encouragement through this entire process.

I still can't believe I finished. But I did...