This post is sponsored by Corning® Gorilla® Glass
On Sunday mornings my alarm would go off before the rest of the family stirred. I’d tip toe around the house to get dressed, chug a glass of water, and lace up my shoes before heading out the door. A quick glance at my watch told me my distance and duration goals for the day’s long training run that would ensure. I’d be ready for to tackle my first half marathon.
I’ve never considered myself a runner. I spent a couple of years on the high school track team, specializing in sprinting halfway around the track for the 200 meter event where my goal was always to finish somewhere in the middle. More recently, my running companion has been our Yellow Labrador who stops to sniff so suddenly that our couple of miles are anything but fluid and consistent.
So why in the world would I ever commit to running 13.1 miles? Pledging to run my first half marathon and training to be ready in time for race day was a tough goal but one I personally needed.
As a mom and entrepreneur, I spend a majority of my time taking care of my family and work-related tasks and while satisfying, something was missing. I needed something for me. A goal that was my own, one I was personally in charge of from start to finish. I may not be a gym owner, entrepreneur, or ninja like Michelle Warnky but I felt the necessity to push myself in a way that was different and unlike anything I had done before.
Training started gradually. I gave myself months to train and told myself to get out there and put one foot in front of the other. Each morning I looked at my watch for my training plan. Each day my daily goal increased. Run longer. Run farther. Run just a bit faster.
Two miles became three then five. Five miles turned into seven and eight. 10 was close but 13.1 seemed far.
“Just get to 10 miles,” advised a friend and experienced distance runner. “If you can do 10, you can do 13 no problem.”
The day I hit ten miles I was ecstatic! I was about a month away from my race and the November weather was crisp, cool, and perfect for my morning runs. I messaged my friend and she was thrilled for me. Then she told me I should try for 11.
I groaned at the thought of 11 miles because it was a new goal. The days until my race were dwindling although I knew I needed to go for it. After all, if I could get to 11, I was closer to the 13.1 miles I’d need on race day.
Two days before my first half marathon, I jumped on a plane to Memphis, the host city for my race. I was full of adrenaline and nervous energy as I picked up my race packet and made my way through the expo. The night before I loaded up on lean chicken and pasta to fuel me for my race. In my hotel room I laid out my race gear, pinning my bib to my shirt, and went to bed early though my active mind kept me from sleeping.
I started to doubt myself and the months of training I had spent preparing for the next day. Was what I was wearing going to work for the cool and rainy forecast? Would my plantar fasciitis flare up on the course like it did a couple months before? Where was I going to see my family? We hadn’t talked about the course and where they would be so I could look for them. Seeds of doubt started to grow, taking over the mental toughness I developed during the previous months.
The next morning, I was surprisingly calm as I ate some breakfast, dropped off my gear at the bag drop, and made my way to my starting corral. As I waited on that cold December day for the race start, I told myself that I was prepared. I was ready. I’d do my best. My goal was to cross the finish line in one piece.
When the race started and it was time for my corral to go, I knew I had prepared well. The seeds of doubt were gone. Like Michelle Warnky, the mental toughness I built would get me through the 13.1 miles ahead. I also knew I’d do my absolute best.
I found my stride among the other runners and embraced the crowd’s energy as I put one foot in front of the other. I faced some tough race moments along the course but the best moment of the race was seeing my family cheering for me near the chute with the finish line in the background. In that moment I knew I pushed myself to meet my goals. I had done my best to run a distance I never imagined I’d run.
I thought that my first half marathon would be a bucket list item that I’d cross off my list and be done with until I signed up to run another in April 2018. If I did one, surely I can do another, especially now that I know I am mentally tough and can push myself to train for a second. A full marathon of 26.2 miles is out of the question. At least for now.
Get inspired to push your limit by watching Michelle Warnky and other tough individuals whose work is featured on the Corning® Gorilla® Glass Incredibly Tough series.
To learn more about Corning® Gorilla® Glass:
- Visit incrediblytough.com and the Corning® Gorilla® Glass website
- Watch more incredibly tough individuals doing incredibly tough things in their everyday lives on the Corning® Gorilla® Glass Incredibly Tough YouTube playlist
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- Read my past posts about Corning® Gorilla® Glass
This post is sponsored as part of my work with Corning Incorporated, all opinions are my own.