For about a month or two my friend and I have been training to run a 1/2 marathon. Don’t worry it’s only a HALF marathon. I’m not crazy enough to attempt a full marathon yet and I honestly don’t know if I’ve got a full marathon in this old body of mine.
When we first started to run we struggled to knock out two miles. In fact, the first time we set out we ended up running about 2/3 of the way and walking the final 1/3. We’ve gotten to a point now that we don’t really start struggling until we hit our 4th mile. To some of you that may seem like child’s play but I’m pretty proud of myself for getting that far.
Not only has running been good for me physically but it’s also been good for me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Physically I’ve come to really enjoy being able to hit the road and push myself. Running to me is like being able to stand on a cliff and scream your biggest loudest scream releasing all of your tension and stress into the atmosphere.
It wasn’t always like that for me. I’ve run on and off since I was about 12 but it’s always been difficult for me to do it with any consistency. It has been painful and unpleasant, something I did to keep the chubby monster at bay. My form was bad, I was a wuss, and I didn’t have the right equipment.
The first thing I learned that helped me out was that shoes really matter. After doing some research I found the right shoe for me and my knees and legs have thanked me for it. Then I learned that form makes a big difference too. Running with your shoulders hunched and your arms flailing is not only ugly but it’s also very tiring.
Probably the most important thing I’ve learned is that good goals are not always easy to accomplish. Many times when I’ve run I’ve thought to myself, “I can’t breathe! I’m going to die! I can’t breathe! This really sucks!” and the whole thing was over before I could really even get started. Finally one day as I was giving myself this lovely pep talk I thought to myself, “Oh get over it Kristen. You’re not running for very long and you can breathe once you’re done running!” That one little thought changed my perspective and running became a lot easier for me (not that it’s really that easy).
The funny thing is that one little thought changed my perspective on a lot of things. In the past I’ve tended to give up on a lot of my goals when they became difficult. I’ve said things to myself like, I can’t read my scriptures tonight because I’m too tired. I’m going to be more frugal right after I buy this one thing that I really need (not). Oh, my healthy eating habits are starting right after I eat this bag of m&ms (ok, let’s not get carried away, I’m still working on that one). There are so many areas in life where this applies.
I guess the old saying is true, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Am I tough? I don’t know, but I’m sure trying to get going.
[Associated radio.blog song: The Presidents of the United States of America - Kick out the Jam]