I recently decided that I wanted to run a half-marathon. This would be a pretty impressive feat for most people but I am saying this as a girl whose goal in ninth grade gym class was to run a mile in under 10 minutes without collapsing into a worthless heap after four laps around the track. And since ninth grade gym class, I never ran anywhere unless it was to catch the bus that was taking me to the top of campus.
But a few months ago, I decided that I wanted to make a change, I wanted to accomplish something BIG. Deciding to start training for a half marathon would give me incremental goals to work towards on my way to one big one, something I appreciated since I am a great lover of having a timeline. I thought that my hatred of running that dated back to the pacer test in first grade would linger when I first laced up my sneakers and opened up my freshly downloaded running app. And it did for the first few runs I went on. But then something changed.
I already said that I am a fan of setting an achieving goals. After I made a running schedule, calculating certain distances for each day, I began to look forward to my runs for the sake of going out making it happen and the feeling of satisfaction of completing the task I set for myself.
After a while, I wasn't just running the distance, I was getting better. I ran faster than the previous run almost every time I ran and went farther every other day. The most amazing feeling is realizing that last week, I would have to walk for a minute after one mile and the next week, I was still running at a normal pace two miles in. Feeling the strength in my legs and the power in my lungs that continued to push me forward was exhilarating. I wanted to throw my arms up in the air and imagine I was running through a finish line at the Boston Marathon, even though I was only on mile 4.
Running gave me something to work towards and improve upon, ultimately giving me more confidence that I could do this, I could do anything. Each time I hit a new personal record, something inside me clicks and I am filled with self-pride. Even though I am not the best runner by any means, (my average pace is still around 10 minutes per mile) I can still see the improvements in myself and that itself is motivating. Now I just find myself asking, why didn't I do this sooner?