I did it! I ran my first half marathon…on Sunday February 5th, I conquered my biggest #OPEleanor challenge. It was one of the most AMAZING days of my life.
Training for this event was both exhausting and exhilarating. I never knew what my body was really capable of and training for this taught me so much about myself. The training was pretty basic…every week we had to do a one day of cross training and two days of either running or walking. On Saturday, we would get together as a group and do the “long runs” on the trail. Each week they increased the mileage till we hit the 13 mile mark. The people were so supportive and encouraging–on the days when I was down, there was always some one to encourage me and give me the boost I needed to keep going.
The first few weeks, I dreaded getting up at 7:00 AM and hitting the trail. It was cold and windy and damn it I was tired! I get up everyday at 5:30 and don’t get to bed till about 12:30 or 1 on any given day. I usually have at least one or two papers due each week plus a presentation and lots of reading. Not to mention my full time job and raising my daughter–you know those minor details! Sleep is a huge luxury for me and it took a while to convince myself that losing sleep on Saturday mornings was actually a good thing.
3 weeks into the program, I did my first 5k! It was a huge milestone for me and really a huge turning point for me. Seeing that I was capable of doing that really motivated me to keep going. Week after week, I kept at it. There were so many days when I was going through some major issues and it was those days when I realized how much I needed to keep running. I can’t even describe how liberating it was to be out there and not have to do anything other than put one foot in front of the other.
I know I sound really sappy and corny, but this challenge really changed my life. Aside from the obvious sense of accomplishment (hey I ran a half marathon!), it gave me back some of the self confidence I had lost in the last 10 years of my life. I still have a lot of work to do on myself but for now? I’m just thrilled that I can add “completed a half marathon” to my list of accomplishments.