Race day was the perfect cool, crisp October morning. This is the first race I have ever done on my home turf and it was surprisingly refreshing to run around a place that carries so many memories. Plus, it was a major added bonus to be able to sleep in my own bed the night before race day and have minimal required travel home after.
It was a big mental game going into this race. I had a continuous inner dialogue about being okay with whatever the outcome was for this race, as long as I finished happy and healthy vs. wanting to be better, faster and get a PR. I had to be very intentional about letting go of pride I was holding on to and shifting my focus to how far I have come in the last year and a half.
Seven months ago I got hip surgery, five months ago I began a couch to 5k program, three and a half months ago I began training for this race, and on Saturday, October 13th I completed the Purdue Half Marathon. It’s been a long road to get to the starting line of that half and even though the race was not a PR for me, it was the most fun I have ever had during a race. I smiled that entire time and was present for every hill, twist and turn. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for being able to run pain free for 13.1 miles and finally felt like I was back!
The next several weeks are going to be focused on maintaining and speed. Around Thanksgiving time I will start MARATHON training again for a marathon in March. To be honest, I have kind of mixed feelings about the next several months of running. Part of me is extremely excited to start marathon training and getting redemption for the last marathon I trained for but never got to run. The other part of me is fearful for what this new training cycle will hold. Is another injury in my near future? Am I going to train for 18 weeks then not get to race again because of said injury? Am I going to hate myself for committing to train for a marathon through the winter months? (half joking and half serious on that one 🙂 )
Needless to say, I have no idea what my future holds for racing and I am trying to accept that. I don’t want to avoid a challenge because I’m scared of what MIGHT happen. The truth is, I could very well get another injury and not be able to race, it happens to the best of runners. That is worst case scenario and sometimes worst case scenarios happen. Rather than focus on that fear, I am going to do my best to focus on the present, enjoy the process of marathon training, and cross any unexpected bridges if and when they come up. Here’s to the unknown, attacking fears head on, and allowing life to teach us something through each experience we encounter!