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  • Writer's pictureShannon Wilson

Goal #1: Run a Half-Marathon

“We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I’ve never met a fake runner.” Barty Yasso

Running seems easy. Buy a pair of good running shoes, wake up, go outside and run. It can be done practically anywhere, at any time of the year.

Running, however, is not easy. Running is a mental game as much as a physical one. I have been running on and off for more than 15 years. Once I can get into a good pace, I really enjoy running. I’ve experienced the runner’s high before, although for me it takes about two miles or more. Most days, I fight my head of excuses to get out there. My biggest challenge when running is continuing to run throughout the year consistently. Due to this challenge, I often find myself restarting to run after an extended period of rest. I hope with this goal, I will stop the habit of pausing and restarting so often.

In April, I did something crazy — I signed up for my first half-marathon. Next year I will be running the Disney World Half Marathon on January 7th. So far in my running career, the longest I race I have actually ran without walking is 4 miles, a few years ago at the Cherry Creek Sneak. I have also completed a handful of 10Ks, running and walking, but that is the farthest distance I have completed for any race. Still, I had a crazy idea to run a half-marathon for my 40th birthday. My goal is not to be able to run the entire race, but to complete it within the time restraints. January of 2024 will be about a month before my 41st birthday, so while I did not achieve this goal for my 40th, I am on track to accomplish it before the year is done, although I’m cutting it fairly close as my best friend has teased me.

For me, I have always had a love/hate relationship with running. I enjoy the energy of race days, but struggle with the habit of running at least 3 times a week. If I am signed up for a race, I will go, regardless of the previous night’s sleep, weather outside, or how I am feeling — especially if I am meeting someone at the race. Running at home is a different story. My head is full of excuses. For me, running is just as much of a mental game as it is a physical one.

The other day, when my alarm went off for my run, I wanted to turn it off and go back to sleep. It’s summer, who wants to get up early in summer? I could feel the cool breeze coming in through the window as I laid there and mentally processed my day ahead. The training program I am currently following (the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run) had me scheduled to run. I debated skipping the workout, which I have barely started. I also considered running later in the day, realizing I had a time in the afternoon I could run, but also recognizing it would have to be on the treadmill. Running outside is more enjoyable to me than the treadmill. Finally, I forced myself to get up, put on my running shoes and go. It wasn’t my best run, I’m nowhere near the point of enjoying running again after my latest pause, but it wasn't a horrible run either. I didn’t go far, 1.99 miles, but I did follow-through on my commitment to run that day and was proud of myself for beating my excuses.

Looking back on that morning’s run, I am thankful I completed it. It is only with consistency and perseverance that I will be able to achieve the goal of the half-marathon. While running is a mental game for me, the best way to get past the mental block and excuses is by getting up and completing the run and not stopping until my program tells me to walk (my body is stronger than my mind).

“Just keep going. Everybody gets better if they keep at it.” Ted Williams I love this quote by Williams. I will only get better if I keep going. I’ve made all the travel arrangements for the race, except my flight since it’s still 6 months away. I’ve committed to the race. Now I need to train.

Are you training for anything?

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