I Never Ran a Half Marathon, Because I Didn't Know I Could-How Setting Goals Can Help You Accomplish Things You Didn't Know You Could
I’ve always been a runner. It’s in my blood. My dad ran track. My cousins ran track in high school and college. I remember running 1 mile “fun” runs with my dad when I was about 10 years old. I ran the baton relay at field day in elementary school. And when I played softball, my coach called me “Wheels”, because I was the fastest base runner. I love to run. It makes me feel alive. I run in the snow, in single digit temperatures, in rain, through forests, on the road, on treadmills…I love to run. The very best is running in a light rain. That’s when I feel like I’m one-with-nature. I look straight up to the sky as the rain hits my face. It suddenly makes me very aware of my arms, my legs and feet that carry me. The strength. And I become aware of how grateful I am for the ability to run.
Running is my outlet. It’s my time to clear my mind, to ponder, to relieve stress, to be by myself, to feel strong. After I had my first baby, I felt like my life had turned upside down. It was good. It was wonderful. But it was different. And I craved running. We bought a Bob jogging stroller, and I bundled our little baby up, strapping her into her seat. We took off on the paved, Wisconsin trails just outside our front door. I pushed the Bob with one hand and held onto the dog leash with the other. They were my running buddies. I remember logging 8 miles one day. I had never run that far before. And I remember being kind of impressed with myself.
We moved to Dallas for my husband’s schooling, and I met some girls that talked about running a half marathon. A half marathon? 13.1 miles? I had never even considered that. Running a half marathon had never even crossed my mind, because I never thought I could! I decided if those girls could do it, and I love to run, then I would do it. I followed a strict training schedule for 3 months, kept a food journal, and completed the Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon.
I have come to love the half marathon distance. I had never run one, because I didn’t think I could. And this spring, I just completed my 5th.
How many times in life do we feel paralyzed to try something new, because we don’t think it’s something we are even capable of? How many times do we settle for something good, when we are capable of something great?
I didn’t wake up one day and run a half marathon. When I trained for my race, I stuck to a scheduled training program. I gradually increased my mileage. I kept my written training program in my kitchen, on a bulletin board, where I could see it every day. I marked off each training run with a feeling of satisfaction. The key was consistency. I always made time for my runs. And on race day, I was very ready.
Write down something that you never thought you could do. Then break it apart into smaller, attainable goals. Make your plan visible. You need to be able to see it every day. And give yourself a deadline. Be consistent. If you aren’t, you are only cheating yourself. And you will notice. The smaller goals will become easier.
And on the big day, you will be ready.
I'm Erin! I'm an MBA graduate with nearly 20 years of experience in HR, small business management, academia, and social media. I am an author, wife, mother, half marathon runner, and lover of the outdoors.