Sometimes the perfectionist in me is my worst enemy. I can easily talk myself into something, but I can also talk myself out of things as well. I had been toying with the idea of completing a half marathon since last fall, and when registration opened for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon I figured why not run a local race that just so happened to be nationally recognized and I had always admired from a far prior to becoming a runner. So that was that, I was going to do it! I’m going to run a half marathon!! Okay I signed up….woohoo! I found a 16-week training schedule that seemed to work for me and my schedule…awesome! Now let’s put rubber to road and hit the pavement….which means getting on a treadmill in January because Wisconsin winters are not always friendly and I hate the cold. Prior to this the farthest distance I had ever run was 7 miles, so I knew that I could at least run half of a half marathon. To be honest that was what gave me the confidence to sign up for a half marathon.
As the weeks continued and the miles increased I was impressed with how well I was doing. I was pushing myself to run a little faster and challenging myself to not quit. 7 weeks in and everything was going swimmingly…..until week 8. I knew it was going to happen, I knew there would be no way to avoid it, and I was even prepared for it. You see I enjoy running, but my knees are less than stellar. My knees have taken a beating over the years and I knew even before I signed up to run that they would be the deciding factor in whether I would be able to complete my first half. So I started skipping out on runs to rest them up and doing as much icing and stretching as I could, but I could feel the self-doubt starting.
One missed run turned into two, then three, the a few more. I could feel myself going why? Why are you doing this to yourself. Did you honestly think that you could do this, that your knees would hold up to the increased mileage? It was getting harder to motivate myself to go for a run, I felt like I could come up with a really good excuse or talk myself out of it so easily and using my sore knees as an excuse. I was still managing to get my long runs in every week, but I couldn’t seem to shake my self-doubt.
I had to remind myself that this is all a part of the training and that you might miss some runs, or they won’t go as smoothly as I wanted them to. To be honest what allowed me to shake that self-doubt and reset my mentality about this was my friends and family, as well as my fellow Leaders of the Pack, they each in their own way inspired me to keep going. Sometimes we need the external motivation to ignite the internal fire for our own motivation.
Someone once said: “I am perfectly imperfect, and I wouldn’t want it to be any other way. I will always strive for perfection, but I know that I may not achieve it. But that won’t stop me from trying.”
So I am perfectly imperfect, I know that my training hasn’t been perfect, but I also haven’t given up and it doesn’t matter that I’ve missed some runs along the way. It’s the ups and the downs of achieving your goal that make you stronger and as long as you don’t stop trying, in the end you will succeed.
I will complete my first half marathon, it doesn’t matter if I run it all, if I have to walk, or if I’m crawling across the finish line, because I will not stop trying.
The First Timer,
Jenny Leiterman 🙂