Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I'm Stronger Than I Think

About 2 years ago I tried to make running a part of my exercise regime. It didn't work. I recall thinking, I could totally run a mile, no big deal. So, I charted out a mile through my neighborhood, promised myself there would be NO walking, and took off. It was terrible. I hated it. I walked for about 1/4 of it, and didn't think that last step would come soon enough. How did people run, and like it?  It was beyond me.  I tried a couple more times to go running, but I just couldn't get past the pain. The horrible pain. 

A couple months of recovery and I decided that I really wanted to be a runner. Truly. All my friends ran, so that meant I could too. I decided then and there that I was going to sign up for a race, about 10 months from then, called the Temple 2 Temple Steeple Chase. It is a 5 mile run from the Oquirrh Mountain Temple to the Jordan River Temple. In April of 2012 I began to run. I only made it a quarter of a mile on that first run before I had to walk. I walked a lot that first month. I didn't have any specific way of training myself, other than to make sure I ran further the next day then I did the day before. I discovered something very important that way. IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD! Well, most of it is anyway. The pain is real, but the ability to go one more step resides mostly in your head. 

The Steeple Chase was in September. The week before the race I had James drive me 4 miles away from home, and I ran home. It was rough!  I came home with numb toes, but proud of myself. I still didn't know if I could run 5 miles in a week, but I was willing to try. 

Come race day, I was a bundle of nerves, but I easily finished that run. All 5 miles of it. No walking. 
 I cannot explain how proud I was of myself. I think I wore my medal all day.

Some ladies in my ward caught wind of what I had done, and asked if they could start running with me. Just like that, I had a support group of runners. We were a cool sight, if I do say so myself. 5 women running in the dark hours of morning. One of them became a close friend, Kellie, and we decided that we wanted to run a 10K; a first for both of us.  For those of you who don't know, a 10K is just over 6 miles.

Running Scared was the name of our Halloween themed 10K race. It was so much fun to dress up and run!  I was shocked when not even a mile into it, I go the worst side ache and wanted SO BADLY to stop. But, I didn't, and Kellie stayed by me the whole time.
One of our other friends who ran with us had done a 1/2 marathon and bragged about how much she had loved doing it. Kellie and I were like, "pshhh, no way would we EVER run for that long".  Except then, darn that Kellie, she started saying things like, "Alicia, I really think we could do it".  Let's just say that I give into peer pressure very easily.  Not long after that, I signed myself up for a 1/2 marathon, The Big Cottonwood 1/2 Marathon.  I had all winter and summer to train...

Last winter was brutal. James and I moved to Idaho so I no longer had a running companion. The temperatures were in the negatives most days, so running outside was out of the question, and I have no treadmill. I tried to be very diligent about exercising in other ways so that when spring came, I could handle running again. 

Once spring arrived, it felt awesome to run. Who knew?

I trained for most of the summer, waking up at very early hours on some days so that I could be home before James had to go be his farmer self. 

September 13th, my family drove to Utah, and in the early morning hours of the 14th,  with AC/DC getting me started, I ran 13.1 miles. No walking. Nadda. Not even when grabbing a drink of water. I was so determined not to stop, and I didn't!  
 I just crossed the finish line. I look super happy, do I not?  In my defense, I didn't know a picture was being taken.
 James argued that I should be the only one in the picture, but I insisted that my whole family be with me. James could not have been a better support system and cheer leader for me. I absolutely could not have done this race if he hadn't continually told me how impressed and proud he was of me. My kids were also very interested in me running, always asking me if I had been running yet for the day. Logan has taken an interest in running, and he is excited to run in a race too.
Check out my HUGE medal! I would have worn it all day, but the dang thing is SO heavy!

It is now 3 days later and I am able to mostly walk. The race was down hill through the canyon and it made my legs SUPER DUPER SORE!  I had no idea I would feel like this. Down hill running can really do some damage. 

I loved it. 

James wants to do it now. :)   

I will do it again. 

Maybe a marathon. Maybe. One day. 

When Logan saw me at my most exhausted, he asked why I was running if it made me tired and hurting. I told him I was doing it because I wanted to do something hard. I fear that too many of us take the easy way out of things. We don't try to do the things we secretly want to do because they seem too hard. I took on a personal challenge to do something hard, and I did it. I feel like the biggest winner. 

If you are reading thing, I challenge you to pick something you've always wanted to do, but never have because it's hard. Do it. Feel like a winner, like me!  I fear that all too soon that feeling will fade, but wen i does, I will be ready to choose that next challenge.

1 comment:

jen johnson said...

So happy for you Alicia! After my half marathon I said the same thing about maybe one day running a full and then ran it 3 months later. If I can do it, you definitely can. I was SO anti-run before. It's definitely infectious!

Let me know how you talked James into it, Aaron won't even go jog with me.