If you currently saw me stumbling and hobbling down the street, you’d probably wonder why. I keep thinking I should wear my medal around my neck to announce to the world that the reason for my current disability is due to the fact that I, the once self-proclaimed non-runner, just ran her first marathon. Yup, all 26.2 miles in a commanding five hours and six minutes. My mom asked me the other day, “did you like running as a child.” Nope, not one tiny little bit. I was the middle school student who had to run the mile multiple times because my time hadn’t hit the benchmark needed. Quite frankly, my twelve-year-old self hated to run!
I’m really not sure what spurred me on to start running. Maybe it was a friend. I don’t really know, but somewhere along the line, I decided to try to run a 5k. 3.1 miles, that should be easy, right? Then a slipped disc sidelined me for a few years. A renewed love of holistic health and wellness brought running back into my life. I started with a couple of 5ks, then got an opportunity to run a 10k thanks to Channel 2 News’ sponsorship of the FortiTude Labor Day Classic in Fort Collins, CO. I was one of three viewers chosen to train with the news crew with the help of running coaches and professional runners. This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, and I definitely could not let my team down so I trained hard. After the successful completion of my first 10k, I was bitten by the running bug. If I could run 6.2 miles I could run a half marathon at 13.1 miles. Countless friends were doing them, so why couldn’t I? I successfully completed the Georgetown to Idaho Springs half marathon August 2018. Well, if I had pushed myself through 13.1 miles, the next progression would be a marathon. It was only 13 miles more. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment!
Running has become my meditation, my stress release. A chance to set a goal and actually achieve it through hard work, planning, and follow-through. We all have goals, we all try to achieve them, but I know with many in my life I find ways to sabotage the outcomes. Procrastination takes over, self-doubt, fear all keep me from becoming the successful person I’m intended to be. But not when I run, when I run I play a mental game with myself that keeps me motivated to push through the discomfort. Though there is plenty of time for quiet contemplation, there is also plenty of time to give myself the sometimes not so nice pep talks needed to keep me going.
I live at 8500 feet, on the side of a mountain. There is really no such thing as a flat here. I have two choices, uphill or downhill. Though I prefer the downhill, that also leads to an uphill to get me back where I need to be. I hate hills! Enough said. They challenge me, they wind me, and yes I do walk them. But these hills have taught me a lot. I can’t avoid them, I can either allow them to conquer me or I can choose to conquer them. I have chosen the latter. The hills are my teachers, showing me I can run them, further and longer than I thought possible. They will not allow me to procrastinate, they’re in my face blocking my path. I need them to better myself, in my running and in my life.
These hills and my running have taught me a very valuable lesson, I am capable. I can overcome my fears to be successful. I can set a goal, develop a plan, and see that plan through to a glorious outcome. It takes hard work, it takes perseverance, but I CAN do it. I trained to run 26.2 miles in my first attempt at the Revel Rockies Marathon. I pushed through the hills, fatigue, blisters, and heat to officially become a marathon runner. Why can’t I do that with the dreams and goals that are unfolding before me? I’ve overcome the fear of failure to succeed in running, which has now given me the confidence to succeed in the new endeavors ahead.