Well, I ran a half marathon and I lived. Goal accomplished!
People have asked me over the past few months as I’ve been training (and talking about it incessantly,) if I have a goal. I suppose they are referring to a “time” goal. But every time this question comes up, I’m like, “duh! To LIVE?!” People have also been referring to it is a race. “When’s your race?” My training partner and I laugh about this. For us, this isn’t so much a race as a “survival test.”
And survive, we did. For us, this was a BIG deal. I am really proud of myself. I set a goal. I found a regimen to follow that promised it would prepare me to accomplish the goal. I found a partner to bring aboard my regimen and my goal for support. I followed the plan. I booked appointments on my calendar for time to dedicate to the plan. I ate properly, I slept well, I used supplements wisely. Ok, that last sentence isn’t true. I ate mostly like crap (too much pizza, beer, chocolate), I slept sporadically (lots of late nights out at open mics), and supplements? Well, I took a vitamin one day, but this is normal for me.
I accomplished this goal during a very stressful time in my life. Some may have thought I was nuts to train for a half marathon while going through major life changes such through the breakup of a 13 year relationship with the love of my life. But it was actually helpful. At a time when I was a little too raw to “create” anything but anger and sadness (and I was getting a bit fatigued of that), running gave me a real physical thing on which to focus. A neutral, happy-ish thing. It was a great distraction.
Things I learned:
Prepare properly. It is important to do the work to build up and to know what to expect.
You do have to listen to your body, but there are times it can be a whiny bitch and you have to show it who’s boss. However, doctors, experienced friends and Google can help with questions about specific pain, blisters, nutrition, etc.
It helps to have support and cheerleaders. A lot. Talk to people and tell them this is a big deal for you. They rise up and cheer you on. Also, having a good training partner, someone to go through the process with is really amazing. We did not do all the training runs together, but we did run together generally once a week. The rest of the time we shared competition and encouragement and misery.
So, now I will take these lessons and try to apply them to the rest of my life. I can set goals for my creative life, my job, my body, money, even relationships and work toward them. Not in a dreamy, wishing kind of way, but in a systematic, planned step by step kind of way. Choose the goal, find the plan, bring in some support. Run.