Pushing Through My First Half Marathon (and everything else for that matter)
The Nike Women's Half Marathon is held in San Francisco once a year for a randomly selected 25,000 runners from around the world. If you couldn’t tell from the odds, I signed up and was positive I wouldn’t be chosen. One month later, a “YOU MADE IT!” message reached my inbox and I didn’t know what I had just done to myself...
I’m going to be real here. Running blowsssssss. Well at least compared to faster forms of exercise, say like indoor cycling. The main reason I signed up was because I knew that my training would result in something I'd feel proud of, a feeling I hadn’t experienced in a long time. Around 198 training miles later on flat D-town land and a runner’s knee to boot, I was ready to conquer hilly San Fran even if I had visions of tripping and rolling down a hill. Let's be honest, I'm not the most graceful person.
I was in the zone listening to my carefully curated playlist and didn’t find the hills too impossible until I reached the 10th mile in the Presidio, which is basically a park by the Golden Gate Bridge. I wish I had a picture to show you guys the enormity and distance of this hill in the Presidio but let’s put it this way, I never had to mentally and physically push myself ever. in. my. life.
My legs were like my shaky Chihuahua’s, Izzy (yep, shameless shout-out to my bbg) and my sight like this:
Basically nonexistent and man did my eyes burn!
Once I reached the top and ran downhill, I was met with a winding road lined with strong cypress trees standing taller than my tired neck allowed me to look up. That’s it. I made it through the hardest part and felt a wave of emotion I wasn’t expecting to feel.
Organization comes naturally to me and, to no surprise, I like to know what’ll happen in the near future but when I was met with the uncertainty of life after college, I felt paralyzed and really hopeless. I think the marathon, albeit at the time seemed like a distraction from facing my problems, was exactly what I needed. The endurance I was learning from running gave me the strength to push through my lowest days. Those months my hard work was only being met with a lingering silence, seemed a lot less unbearable.
The other week my dad mentioned something that, unknowingly to him, I needed to hear. He said, “Young people always see the negative things in life, it’s hard for them to see the positive.” Honestly, I couldn’t agree more since in the past year I’ve been upset with myself for working hard to improve my life and having nothing to show for it. My negative thinking only harmed my self-esteem, which made it difficult to focus on my goals. With all of that said, I hope my experience of running a half marathon is something you can relate to and if not, I hope the thought of me sweating profusely like the GIF above makes you feel a lot better about how you look working out. Hey dudes, hydration is key. So whether you're training for a race or life isn't taking what you're putting in, remember... don't be so preoccupied with thoughts of how long and awful the course is that you forget to remember the finish line.