I’m sitting here looking at my training calendar. All of the scribbles showing miles run, foods eaten, weather, times, all of the things I wanted to keep track of as I got ready for the Cellcom Green Bay Half-Marathon. I think back to the cold and snow and how I thought it would never end. I can’t believe it’s only 10 days away, it once seemed like so far in the future. I know what I have to do be able to complete the race; what time to get up on Sunday morning to eat something then go back to bed; how far I can go before I need to use a Gel and in which order; when to start my final sprint; I feel like I have everything planned AND plans made when my original plans don’t work out.
The only thing that I haven’t been able to plan is this almost giddy feeling of accomplishment, it’s something very foreign to me. My first race ever was just less than 10 months ago; a 4-mile fun night race for which I was not prepared. Now I’m running 13.1 miles, for which I am totally prepared. And, I feel good about the preparation. I’ve learned a lot, not just about running, but about myself. I learned what I am capable of doing. I learned that when the body says, “You’re an idiot for punishing me like this and I’m not going to put up with it”, the mind can still squeeze out another few miles or hills.
While shopping for a gift for my wife I was wearing the shirt from a race when the sales person mentioned that she had just started running. She smiled and asked, “Are you a runner?” No one had ever asked me that question. I proudly answered, “Yes. “
RUN if you can; WALK if you will; CRAWL if you must
— Tim Riley