It's easy for me to get caught up in my next goal and forget how far I've come. This can be true for lots of areas in my life, but most of all it can be applied to my running life. It's also easy for me to be disappointed in myself when I'm not where I want to be in relation to my goals. It's harder for me to take a step back and appreciate the progress I've made. But when I do, it's truly motivating.
I began running 2 years ago this month with Fleet Feet's No Boundaries program. On our first group run, we ran 1 minute and walked 2 minutes. We did this for 30 minutes. I was sure I would die from the effort. We did this to train for my first 5k. A 5k is 3.1 miles. On the first night of training, I remember feeling like a 5k might as well be to the moon because it seemed just as impossible.
Today, I am training for my first full marathon. I've completed 10 half marathons. I've ran in all sorts of other races from the Ragnar Relay to several local 5ks. I've also always run intervals. Every race I've ever run was as an interval runner. I'm training to run my first race (Franklin Classic 10k) without intervals. On Monday night at Tin Roof 2, Gail and I ran 6 miles without intervals.
It was an amazing feeling to complete that run. There have been many days when I was absolutely sure I could never give up my intervals. There also days I was sure I could never run more than 5 miles or 13.1 miles. On Saturday, I will run my first ever 16 miler!
I'm a slow runner - back of the packer. I've consistently run my miles in the 12:30 time range. Recently, I've been able to run in the 11s! But it's easy for me to forget that I started at 14 minute mile.
I have so many more goals as a runner. I want to be faster. I want to run a half in each state. I want to run a half without intervals. I could go on and on. But right now I think it's important that I pause and look back and appreciate the progress I've made. When I think about the progress I've made, I'm excited. I feel strong and capable. If you find yourself struggling, take a step back and appreciate the journey that's brought you here. It's helped me.
Mark and I will be running our first marathon this October in Dublin with Team in Training. We have to raise $10,000 in order to participate. All the money we raise benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which is a charity we've actively supported and volunteered with the last few years. Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer. Please help us find a cure. Visit our website to make a donation and for more information. http://pages.teamintraining.org/tn/dublin11/emilymark