Last March I was going through a lot. Coronavirus hit the United States which extended my Spring Break until the end of the semester. I was stuck at home in New York two months longer than anticipated and quickly went from feeling on top of the world to barely able to get dressed each day.
A lot of people went through the same struggles – zero motivation to get out of bed, let alone workout. With gyms closed, my options were limited – run, walk, jog, or bike outside. So I decided to start and my exercise goals quickly took a turn in events.
It was on Thursday, March 19th when I finally decided to enter the great outdoors. With a 16.46-mile bike ride around my neighborhood – lasting just over 2 hours – I knew there had to be a better way to get in my cardio in under an hour. That's when I began to run.
It started with short distances, 1-2 miles which were preceded and followed with 1-2 miles of walking; however, one-day things changed. By mid-April, I ran 5 miles during one of my daily run/walk combos and decided to start training for a half marathon.
The journey since then has been time-consuming, difficult, and felt nearly impossible at times.
Six months ago when I first started, I could never imagine running more than a 10k (6.2 miles). Yet nowadays, running 6 miles seems like a blessing in comparison to other runs. I still have not been able to successfully run more than 11 miles, so tomorrow will be another challenge in my training process.
But when you put things in perspective, all you need is one more stride, one more mile, and one more hill in order to accomplish something special.
I am not a runner or at least wouldn't consider myself to be a runner which is why this training has been different. In reality, training for a race – whether it be a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or even a marathon – is different for everybody. Every day's mileage and pace differ but also the feeling and emotions associated with the training. I'm not saying that you have to complete a half marathon or compare yourself to others who have, instead do the opposite.
"Comparison is the thief of joy" – Theodore Roosevelt
It truly is.
The number of times I wanted to give up and stop running or training entirely because of something I saw on social media was insane. I had my personal running journey just like everybody else. Just because somebody is able to run at a pace 1-3 minutes faster than you or more miles than you ... that does not mean that you are behind or incapable or worse than them.
While people may have similar experiences, the true beauty of training for a race is that you are the only person who is crossing the final line who has gone through the same struggles.
It is difficult. It is strenuous and demanding. It seems impossible and unattainable until it no longer is. After you have spent nearly half a year training for something. Now you able to see the end, the final day, the last lap, the finish line.
It is possible for anybody as long as you put your mind to it. I didn't say it was easy – because it most definitely is not – but it is achievable as long as you start running, don't look back, and refuse to stop.
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