Here's something I never thought I would do but have always secretly wanted to try. It kind of feels like jumping off a diving board to say this. That might not be a big deal to you, but I HATE swimming and when I was little only a box of Lucky Charms cereal could coax me into the deep end and off of the diving board. My first big CHALLENGE of 2015.
I am running a marathon.
I have done about six or seven half-marathons. I usually do the Country Music Half Marathon towards the end of April, and start training sometime in late March/early April, with the goal of decreasing my time every year, which I have done, but haven't ever really put my nose to the grindstone to accomplish. I know I can do a half marathon, its not that it isn't difficult or painful, but I already know I can do it.
Running a marathon? As in 26.2 miles? In Nashville? With all of the hills? And time required for training?
WHY NOT? Seriously though, why not?
So far, waking up at 5:30 am on Saturdays for long runs with my training group (14 miles this past Saturday), feels W O N D E R F U L. I'm actually starting to enjoy my runs during the week because I'm not obsessively checking my watch to see what my pace is at this point in my training. I'm still aware of it, but I'm mostly trying to get milage in.
As I was writing this post, I realized that running a marathon utilizes the three supporting tenants of my focus for 2015, which is CHALLENGE. Click here to read that post!
Doing the training on my own would have been difficult, and it would be so easy to decide not to do it on my own. Being part of a training group fulfills each part of my CHALLENGE goal for 2015. I'm connecting with runners of all different ages and have various levels of experience (One of the men in my group has run about 33 marathons, with some Ironmans thrown in. With utmost sincerity and humility, he said he has lost count. #inspiring).
The group also holds me accountable, but mostly my husband and my sweet friend Stephanie are my accountability partners (SURPRISE, YOU GUYS! CONGRATULATIONS!). Stephanie signed up for the training group first, so I had no choice but to follow suit! I'm beyond grateful to have a friend who CHALLENGES and encourages me. Specifically, I love having someone to talk about all the things that terrify us about running a marathon, about how much we've eaten or want to eat, and when we're going to fit in our runs that week (Stephanie does hers BEFORE work).
Making time to fit all of my runs in, eating the right foods so I have enough energy, and getting enough sleep so I can recover are all pushing me to be more intentional with how I allocate my time. AANNDD this gives me the opportunity to use all of the knowledge I have from school and put into it action again, which is quite thrilling to me!
That being said, I am still pretty scared, and the thought of running 26.2 miles, especially here in Nashville, is daunting. I hope you enjoyed my illustrations, I felt like it was the best way to express my somewhat irrational but very real fears.
There, I said it. I'm running a marathon. Hopefully my knee caps stay put. . . .
How are you challenging yourself this year? Have you decided to take any big risks in 2015? I would LOVE to hear about them! Leave me a comment!