Slowly But Surely

I almost gave up on my half marathon training this weekend.

I was scheduled to run 8 miles, and while I made it through (well, mostly–it ended up being 7.8 miles), it was one of the worst runs I can recall. It was windy, the route was not as flat as I had thought, I was cold the whole time, and my hips were bothering me. Oh, and did I mention that I ran without music? As I was running I kept thinking, “Why am I doing this? This is torture. How will I make it through the half marathon if the race is like this?” It was bad, friends. Honestly, I probably would have quit if not for the fact that I was nowhere near my car. So I trudged along, hating every minute of it, and finished in 91 minutes. I have never been so relieved to finish a run, not even after the 9 miles I ran the week before.

The experience left me doubting something I had felt so sure about just a week earlier. Could I do the half marathon? Did I WANT to do the half marathon? Did I want to go through more hip pain, more frustration, more torturous runs? On Saturday, I didn’t know the answer to those questions, but I was struggling with them a lot. I thought about it all weekend, and then yesterday I was rereading some of my posts from the last month and was almost surprised to read these words in the post I wrote after my first 5 mile run on the treadmill:

“Even if you’re not a runner, there are going to be times when you feel like giving up, whether you’re trying to lose weight or trying to learn a new language or trying to change careers. But if you find yourself at that place where you just want to surrender and stop trying, think about all the hard work and time you’ve already invested. What if you knew that next week, you’d be at your goal weight? What if you knew that next week, you’d have a breakthrough in your language training? What if you knew that next week, you’d find the perfect job? Would you give up? Of course not! You’d keep trying. Sometimes we have to push through those feelings of quitting, stop focusing on how hard everything is right now, and think about how AMAZING it will feel to achieve what we’ve been striving for!”

Wow, talk about being blind sided. These words were exactly what I needed to remember, and it’s so strange that I wrote them not that long ago and yet was already forgetting the truth of them. I know that if someone told me that next week, I would successfully complete a half marathon, then of course I wouldn’t quit. So I have to keep trying because deep deep down, I still see myself crossing the finish line. I may be hobbling across it, but as long as I cross it, I will be happy. I will be smiling. And it will be amazing (I hope!).

This weekend I’m supposed to run 10 miles, and while I am scared, I am going to do my best to stay focused on my goal and envision that finish line.

Was there something you thought about quitting but were later glad you didn’t? Please share!

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4 thoughts on “Slowly But Surely

  1. Hang in there Erin! There will be lots of times when you want to give up, or you have a bad running day. I bet the next one will be better and re-energize you. Are there any running groups around you that you could run with? Long runs are MUCH easier with company. : ) Wish we lived closer so we could run together.

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