I started running on the high school cross country team, not because I was good or fast, but because my friend convinced me that was how I should spend my evenings and weekends; running. She went on to be the top runner in the state for a number of years, while I was finishing in the bottom 10% of races most of the time.
I started running again around the holidays two years ago to ward off the extra pounds and to clear my head after a long day of studying and working. I found that running gave me another sense of accomplishment, but I never took it further than the local 5K.
That all seemed to change a few weeks ago. I found inspiration in becoming a better me in every aspect of my life. Over the years I have challenged myself mentally through school, I have challenged myself emotionally through relationships, and I have challenged myself spiritually through religion. But what about the physical challenge?
I decided on a half marathon. That seemed to be the next logical step. However, what I have learned is that people think distance runners are crazy. If I am crazy, might as well go all out and be really crazy and run a full marathon. Right after I made that decision, I found the next warmest marathon I could run and set my mind to it: the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon.
I have been telling everyone I know. I am so excited! I look forward to running every day and it makes “rest days” tough, I feel like something is missing. I feel like my beloved running shoes get lonely on my rest days. But then again, they will get over it.
For me, the most enjoyable part of marathon training is the confidence I am building in myself every single day. Every run gives me a chance to be a better, faster, more seasoned runner. Every time I hit the-longest-run-of-my-life distance, I feel that I can do anything. Walk over hot coals? Absolutely, I just ran the longest distance of my life! Swallow glass? Psh, that’s child’s play; I just ran the longest distance of my life! Arms wrestle Chuck Norris? Well, let’s not get carried away…
As a rule for myself for the first marathon of my life, I am not going to stress about time. I am going to cross the finish line, regardless if it’s running or crawling. It will be the longest distance of my life, but it will be run with a smile. And after the race, who knows, maybe I will be juggling swords!
See you at the finish line,
Samantha Van Dehy