I discussed the first perk of running in my last post, the weight loss! Next up, the sense of accomplishment.
Last summer, I decided to make the Princess half my goal because I was turning 30 in April(which I did, on Tuesday, and I didn’t die! Officially 30 and fabulous ladies and gents!). I wasn’t having so much of an issue with turning 30, what I was having an issue with was my lack of accomplishments coming up to 30. I really hadn’t done too much. I did get an Associate’s degree in college, but put my big 4 year degree on the shelf when I got pregnant with my (surprise) middle child, and my husband took a job that relocated us halfway across the country. I’ve been a stay at home mom/work at home mom for years now. So I haven’t done much more than have a bunch of kids in my nearly 30 years of life. Don’t get me wrong, my family is wonderful, I’m so blessed to have such an awesome bunch, but it didn’t feel like it was something I worked so hard for, if that makes sense. The half marathon was going to be my big accomplishment before I turned 30.
I’m going to be honest. Training over the months was hard. It took awhile to really find my steam and my groove. I have my stay at home mom gig, the kids, the appointments, the cooking, the cleaning, the school work, then I have my work at home job as well, which takes up several hours of my day. In the summer, with lots of hours of daylight, it was easier for me to get out and run, but when fall and winter rolled around and it got dark earlier, I hit a wall. My husband doesn’t get home from work until 6pm, sometimes later. Going out in the dark and the cold was no something I found easy to do and my training suffered. I ended up getting a treadmill and was able to get into a good running pattern, twice weekly inside for around 3 miles, then a long run on the weekend outdoors. They call it a dreadmill for a reason, and no matter what kind of distractions I set up for myself, I found the treadmill so boring. I could managed 30-45 minutes on it, but not much more. Even though I hate the cold and I hate getting up in the morning and running(I’m not a morning person and prefer to run at night, I’m an oddball), I would still get up every Sunday morning and head out.
Sticking to training was my first accomplishment. I am the queen of grand ideas and then not following through. Blame my mild ADD, but I’m constantly going “Oh look, a cool thing to do! I’m going to do it! Look a squirrel! Do we have an ice cream?”. The old me would have thought the half marathon was an awesome goal, registered, run for a couple of months and drifted on to something new. But I didn’t do that this time, I kept going and made myself keep working. I’m sure the fact that I spent so much on race registration and was earning myself a Disney trip helped, but my own flame and desire to finish this was the driving factor.
My biggest accomplishment was finishing. I’ve come across a few people who didn’t finish this race, or who just flat out didn’t bother going. I saw the excuses, work, kids, illnesses, they go on. People blaming life. Well all of us deal with life. I don’t know anyone who trained and finished this race who doesn’t deal with life, who doesn’t have a job, who doesn’t get sick. Many of us have kids. I didn’t let those excuses get in my way. Normally I would have. I remember having nights, after putting the kids to bed and knowing how much work I had ahead of me, after a stressful day, and I had no desire to get on that treadmill. I wanted to sit on the couch. But each of those nights, I told myself that those were excuses and I was done with excuses, that so many others managed to get their runs in. It all paid off and I finished in good time. I am a mother, I am a wife, I am an employee, I am busy as all get out and I ran a half marathon. The sense of accomplishment the journey itself and the changes I made to me gave me is worth every step I’ve taken and every mile I’ve covered.