I'm feeling a little overwhelmed right now. I have had a big week - some really full on, exciting stuff has been happening. Things are going well - crazy well in fact, that I have had to calm myself down at times because the inside of me is doing cartwheels and laughing and crying at the same time. But I have just one main thing on my mind. This Sunday is the day!
My first half marathon.
I can't express, to myself even, just how big this is for me. It hit me tonight, so I thought I'd blog a little to settle my thoughts! Part of the enormity of this is the obvious: the fact that this is 21.1km - of which I will be running! For someone who almost collapsed at the 200 metre mark a year ago, this is pretty cool.
The other part is just the whole goal thing. I'm feeling really overwhelmed that I set a huge goal, worked at it properly, and am now going to do it. I make goals all the time - any readers of this blog know that the word 'Goal' is synonymous to me - it's my middle name! And I do reach my goals, often; both surrounding weight loss / fitness, and the rest of my life. I have goal checklists like you wouldn't believe. Star sticker charts and goal apps are some of my best friends.
But this goal is different. I don't know entirely why. I think it's because, I've done it properly. I have treasured this goal and protected it. For one of the rare times in my life, I have done the 'right' thing and worked towards it smartly.
I can be pretty impatient. Sometimes very scatterbrained. I start things and don't finish them. I make grandiose (laminated) plans and pretty Excel spreadsheets with stuff worked out to the finest detail. And then don't follow through. Not always - but sometimes. And as a result,
sometimes I reach my goals, sometimes I don't, and sometimes I achieve them but not in the way I planned...even the best laid plans can give way to making the TV nightly news and being the star of international heists. (I have a weird life - crazy stuff happens to me!)
But this goal has been different. I respected it and I guess I respected myself to do the right thing, to give myself the best chance in succeeding. I don't think I've ever really done that before.
I have actually trained for this. For about 10 months. Properly.
I've read up about it, I've asked advice. I've made it a priority in my life. I've put my heart and soul into the planning, as well as my head. I had originally planned to do my first half at the Gold Coast Marathon, a month ago. When I didn't think I'd be ready for that, I reassessed my goal, was flexible and changed it to the Brisbane Marathon Festival, a month later. I'm usually
extremely stubborn and pig headed about my goals - once I have my heart set on something, I will make it happen. But this time, I was flexible.
This past week I have started preparing for it. With most events I do, I fly by the seat of my pants. I don't read the Information emails that get sent out, I just rock up on the day and learn about what to do from my friends.
Not this one. I've studied each email and have everything written down.
My toes were a bit numb last week and I was concerned. Usually I'd ignore it or push through the pain, but I went to see my Osteopath. I want to do everything possible to help myself. I'm taking on her advice. (She's not sure but she thinks it's caused from the way I've been running. She worked on my hip flexors and that worked wonders.)
I had a big day of events planned for the day before my half - some I was really excited about. Mainly stemmed from my Osteo's advice, I have now cancelled them all to give myself the best opportunity for Sunday and to minimise any risk of hurting myself or stressing my body unnecessarily the day before. My plans for Saturday now total: picking up my race pack, hydrating and eating well, packing my things for the next morning and having an early night. That is it :) The night before other major events I have done, I am usually at a party and put up with 3 hours sleep.
I've told my boot camp instructor that I am going to take it easy over the next couple of days and limit my running at boot camp.
At my last run before the big half, my 10km on Sunday, I had a bit of pain on my other foot. I have an unwritten rule with myself that I never ever stop running on an organised run. I haven't ever stopped, once. However on Sunday I saw the big picture and recognised the benefit of stopping very briefly to stretch, before I kept going. I didn't want to damage myself before the half. So I stopped, twice, mid run, to stretch. And the world didn't fall apart :)
I have the race map printed on my desk at work and on the back of my bedroom door. Usually I don't even look at the map, let alone print it!
I feel really ready. I have seen myself progressing since I made this goal in October last year. I have gone from running 200 metres, to 1km, to 5km, to 11km, to 14km, to 16km, and I know, without any doubt, that 21.1km will be no issue. It's so nice entering an event with confidence within myself, due to the work I have done to get to this point. Usually it's just a 'wing it and hope for the best' type scenario. Not this one. This one, I have worked towards the end goal physically and mentally, and I believe in myself.
And now I find myself, 4 days out, reflecting on the past year. All of my runs have been flashing past my eyes...even my 2 months of not being able to run thanks to crutches and the moon boot.
I still remember my first 5km run, and the advice my lovely friend Wendy told me the day before that. "If you can run 1km, you can run 2km." Well I proved her right, and not only ran the 2km, I ran 5km.
And so this Sunday I will prove to myself that if you can run 200 metres, you can run 21.1km. If you can dream a dream, plan a goal, focus on it, respect it, and work hard on it, you can make it come true.
All that's left for me now is to enjoy it. An awesome runner friend, Kym, said that, and I realised it is true. I think I've been so careful in planning this, that I now have to let go and just enjoy the experience.
Wish me luck...this is seriously the biggest thing I have ever done. And I couldn't be more excited :) xo