I am not one to create resolutions. While I have my personal goals, I very rarely share them with others… in fact, part of this post has been written since January and I was nervous to share it. Heading into this year, I wanted to be strong- both physically and mentally. It’s a very vague goal and I wasn’t sure how that would be measurable or if it was attainable. But even in 3 months, I have changed and so my goals have already evolved, too.
I’ve been calling 2017 “The Year of the Marathon” like the Chinese New Year celebrating the Year of the Rooster. Last fall, I did something crazy like putting my name in a race lottery. I never get picked in the lottery for races- in fact I have a 0% success rate for the NYC Half Marathon. Ironically, I actually got picked for the Chicago Marathon. Maybe I complained when I got in or called it a stupid idea or tried to convince myself it wasn’t actually happening. But I’m going to tell you a secret… I want to run this. I want to prove to myself that I can be strong. I want to do something I never thought I would do. Something totally crazy and out of my comfort zone. I have to do it for the hardware.
A few weeks ago, my boyfriend had gone on a sweet snowboarding trip out west and while he was away, I decided I wanted to do that, too. Last week, I went on an amazing trip to Utah. Something completely out of my comfort zone- riding down these huge mountains that are unfamiliar to me. I was back and forth between excited and nervous. One week before my trip I thought I wasn’t going to go- I had a few tough runs at a new mountain and wondered how can I try and do this in Utah? Doubting myself again, I went out for another day of snowboarding and was feeling better on the mountain. Five days later, I got on that airplane.
Four days, four mountains, and I don’t even know how many runs I did… definitely a lot! Unsure at first, but by the fourth day I was shredding. Literally. I conquered my fear of riding alone and getting lost, rode west coast black diamonds, wove through trees and dove into powder. I conquered my self doubt. I learned to be brave and ended up feeling strong because of my successes.
This strong, independent spirit has traveled back with me and I’ve carried it right into my half marathon training. What did I learn? Maybe I am stronger than I think. Maybe I shouldn’t say “I can’t” until I give try. Maybe I’m ready to step out of my comfort zone again. The thought of running Chicago terrifies me, but it’s also still over 6 months away and there are hundreds of miles to run until then. Starting with the Brooklyn Half, I’m training to be strong as I head into a summer full of long, sweaty miles. I’m excited for you all to join me on the journey to running my first marathon!