Well - today marks 100 days until the Chigaco Half marathon.
There are a lot of things that can happen in 100 days. Moving, new jobs, birth of children, or a complete change in outlook of life.
I am sure all of you can relate to having a deadline, goal date, or finish expected date. Work or play I have found that in order to suceed at your goals, you need to set a realistic timeline and work daily towards it. Even if you are doing a reality check, and making sure you are still on track, daily work - no matter how small - adds up to HUGE payoffs!
If you goal is simply to finish - which by the way if you are attempting a race for the first time that should be your ONLY goal - a little work prior to race day will assure that you will make it to the finish line.
If you goal is time - which can now be the goal after you have finished a long race prior - then the daily work will build strong hearts, efficiency, form, and the proper breathing required to go the distance, as well as the speed workouts will build good fast-twitch muscles which will give you the speed needed at the end of the race to sprint across the finish line.
Regardless of the goal, I have realized that preparation is key. Let me tell you a little story about what I did two years ago... You may mock and laugh at me if you wish. I deserve it!
The year was 2004. It was a dreary August morning. I woke up
and, along with my former running partner, decided to run the CRIM 10 mile race
in Flint MI. My belief - albeit a very very wrong one - was that I had run the Crim the year prior - and sustained an injury which all but ruined my running life - so I had to beat it this time!
In 2003 My knees were in so much pain, that instead of dropping out I
pushed on. I pushed on over the Bradley Hills, and through the Miller Road
Mansions. I walked mostly, but I pushed on nonetheless. The issue
was a torn meniscus (spelling?) under my knee cap. Smart move
Runnergirl! Through my tears I finished - poorly - but did it.
So in 2004 - that dreary rainy morning - I decided that the races I had up to the Crim would be enough to get me across the line in good standing. Errrrrrrrr - not so much. I ended up wearing shorts which rubbed my inner thighs raw - knee still hurt - and barely hobbled across the finish line.
The issue? I woke up and decided to run a 10 miler! I am not an elite runner - so why did I think I was conditioned to do this? Oh, the Marathon I completed earlier in May had something to do with it. But there is a LONG dinstance between May and August, and my body was not ready.
Perparation is key. I did complete four half-marathons or greater in May (one was actually a 25k) 2005 - each weekend I ran the race and nothing in between. but that was because I was honed - ready to go, and conditioned for the 13.1 miles. Fast forward to the Freep in Oct, 2005, and my body will tell you a different story. I barely made the finish because I REALLY laxed on my training. I carried on the belief that - well in May I did 4 endurance races and set a new PR each one - I can do the same here.
That might have been the case if I had trained like I was all throughout the year, but alas, I did not - and you guessed it - injury! Fatigue! And the vow that I would never run again.
And over a half of a year later, I was still not running. That is when it hit me. I did not want to run all because of those negative thoughts I am ALWAYS talking about. I was done. Out. Caput. Finished. Then it happened. I realized in month eight that things could be different this time around.
I moved to a new place, moved in with my loving boyfriend, foud positivity in my life, and realized that it was not just my mind holding me back - it was ill preparation.
This year I embark on my journey to regain the 13.1 miles I long ago left behind. However this time I know that regardless of my running past - triumphs and defeats - I need to approach this wiser. Smarter. Prepare better. Be more efficient. Be more productive. And find SUPPORT.
My diet is healthy, my mind is healthy, and my heart is full of love. Love for the sport, love for the people in my life, and love for the journey.
This journey is not solely mine however. If you replace the "13.1 mile" with any other word - you then have your journey. Our goals may be different, but the result is the same... completion.
I decided to approach my struggles and daily outlook as a journey because I am not focused on the end this time. I am focused on what it is going to take to get me there.
It is true what they say you know - The best part of any trip is the journey getting there. And I am going to fully enjoy this journey, regardless where it will take me!
Join me! Run with me (vicariously)! And all the while start a journey of your own.
Run on my fellow journeymen and women and let the journey take you to your finish line.