Before I dive into the nitty gritty, I just want to give a huge shout out to my friend Sarah who ran her first half marathon on Sunday. Words cannot express how proud I am of you and how you have been a constant pillar of support to me – this includes the time we ran in the pouring rain in the middle of a thunderstorm (no big deal). Knowing you have achieved a dream of yours is definitely an inspiration. I’d give you a congratulatory kick to the face, but I don’t want to relive how our friendship began, so a simple congratulations will have to do!
Now, onto the grit! It’s a good thing I am always hungry because I have some words to eat. In my last post I talked about how I just haven’t been feeling all that excited about training and how I was thinking of the dreaded “Q” word. Well, I need to eat those words specifically. After a lot of internal encouragement like, “Oh hey Alex, remember that time when you were training for a 5k, and now 5k is just practice for you?” and some external encouragement from a very wise person who said, “Oh hey Alex, let’s meet up at Dundurn Castle today” and further proceeded to say, “Oh hey Alex, we’re going to run the Valley Inn Hill today” after starting a training run, I am happy to say that while all of my last few runs have been slow and tiring, they were also good. I freaking ran the Valley Inn Hill! Pardon my leap for joy, it’s a big deal.
The drive is still there my friends. With that being said, I also think the universe, or my sweet grandparents are watching out for me because a few strangely coincidental things have happened in the past few days. While out for my long run on Sunday, an awesome random stopped to say that as a fellow runner, he wanted to say I was doing an awesome job and to keep it up. The second instance happened yesterday while I was at the pool. I made a new friend with a woman who is also training for a relay race in New Zealand. She spoke to me of her struggles, which are similar to mine, and I couldn’t help but feel like these two coincidences meant something. They reminded me that it’s okay to be a little vulnerable sometimes, and that I am not alone in this quest.
The awesome random gave me the push I needed to finish my torturous long run, and this lovely new acquaintance gave me some confidence as I encouraged her to keep training despite the hard times – words that I desperately needed to hear, yet was surprised to hear they came out of my own mouth.
The other lesson I learned was that taking that time off only made me feel all kinds of guilty, and that all of these slow runs are a result of that lapse in judgment. I can’t promise that I won’t feel like I am up against the world again, or that I will miraculously get faster, but I can promise that I will always try my best. One step at a time. Thanks again for listening.