Sunday, November 14, 2010

Almost there!

It's hard to believe that I am entering into my 12th week of training for my first 1/2 marathon!  As I look back at the beginning of this journey, there was a piece of me that thought I would never be able to finish this.  How nuts do you have to be to run 13 miles?  Who does that just for fun? 

I think one of the best things I have learned through this process is that many people run - people I know, people I spend time with, people I would have never suspected run a mile in their lives.  Runners come in all shapes, sizes and ages.  All it takes is a will - a desire to start something and then finish it.  You don't have to run a race to be a runner.  And no - "jogging" is not the same thing as RUNNING.  A Sunday fast stroll once a year does not constitute a runner.  A runner has determination.  When the weather is cold, when you don't feel your best, when your joints and muscles ache... you still run your miles.

At the beginning of this journey, a friend recommended I log my miles from my training program.  I'm SO glad I did it - my reward chart on the refrigerator was a daily reminder of both my daily goals as well as the big picture.  To date, I have run 135.5 miles.  I will accomplish 145 by my run next Sunday - which will put me a grand total of 158.1 miles in 12 weeks.  My shoes are tired (as are my FEET).  Running mags say you should replace your shoes at every 400 miles.  I wonder if I can trade in my tired toes for new ones as well?

That is my biggest curse... I run on my toes.  Sure, my calves look great - but the "balls" of my feet hate it.  I have callouses on top of callouses.  I don't even think the pedicure place will see me at this point.  It's going to take some serious work this winter to help them recover.  I didn't even know you could get a blister on top of a callous - but I have accomplished that as well.  Sometimes my toes fall asleep while I'm sitting.  My calves pulse randomly.  My right hip flexor reminds me every day that I'm not 21 anymore.

But still - I am so thankful.  I literally thank god every single time I run.  I can't believe I have been blessed with a body that can run, let alone walk.  I spent the first 39 years of my life taking for granted what my body can do.

So next week is it - the big run.  My last year in my 30's.  A HUGE thanks goes out to all of my friends that spent tireless hours talking to me about running, my pains, my desire to quit, what clothes work best, what hydration system to buy... only runners can appreciate these topics but to all others who don't run and listened anyway, thanks for being there for ME.  I have the BEST of friends and family!

Off to log 5 miles in the 40 degree cold morning weather...