Monday, April 8, 2013

Climb Every Mountain

If you had told me a year ago what I would have accomplished by 9:30AM yesterday morning, I never would have believed you. Run 10 miles? In a race? Without stopping? You might as well have told me I was going to discover a time portal to Regency England. It would have been that unfathomable to me. That fictional. You'll notice that on my list of 101 things in 1,001 days, I put a 5K and 10K. I never imagined a desire to run any farther, much less the ability to do so. When I put my name in the lottery for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, I thought my chances of getting drawn were pretty slim. But I soon found myself staring slack-jawed at an e-mail saying I was in. Congratulations! Now run 10 miles.

The truest words I've ever heard about running are "the hardest part is getting out the door." That first step out into the cold, that Joker-esque mind game, can be the absolute worst. I hate running on treadmills, so I essentially signed on to a running tour of Baltimore's ugliest weather. As soon as my name was drawn, I started following Hal Higdon's 15K/10-Mile Run novice training program rain or shine, but mostly just bitter cold. 102 miles logged into my beloved Brooks PureCadence later...
My training also revealed a hardcore obsession with purple I can't explain...
And I did it! I did it! I discovered a time portal to Regency England aka crossed the finish line in 1:41:04. What? What?! 10:06 miles? Is this a joke? Am I on candid camera? No! I did that! I did that! Y'all. I can't help it. I'm so ridiculously sore proud. I've always been a Mia Thermopolis. "More of a horseback-riding, wall-climbing, yoga-doing type of girl." But never an athletic girl. And when my friends dragged me kicking and screaming into the freezing night air for a measly two mile run last January, I thought I was going to pass out at the one mile mark. First comes the first step, then comes diligence, then comes the next day where you get yourself out of bed and do it all over again. And before you know it, you're celebrating your ten mile run over brunch with your sweet family and running buddy!
I realize I'm a bit obsessed with the concept at the moment, but... that first step. It's the hardest. And the most important. It'd be so easy to look up at whatever mountain you're facing and lie down at gawk at it instead of taking that first step. But once you take it, you're that much closer to getting acclimated. So take it! Take that step! Lasso the moon! Am I being cheesy enough for you right now? I'm not saying you won't feel like you're going to cry sometime around mile nine. I'm saying you have what it takes to cross the finish line. 
Major thanks to everyone who helped me do just that. To my roommate Erin for helping me train, to my sister Katy for dropping me off at the Washington Monument, to Sarah for running the race with me and cheering me on at that pesky ninth mile, to One Direction for serenading me all over DC, to my sister Emily who couldn't be there but helped motivate me from afar with a just-visualize-Louis-Tomlinson-at-the-finish-line exercise, to my aunt and uncle for driving down from New Jersey with homemade medals for Sarah and me, and to my parents for flying up from Georgia to help me carbo load the night before and give me a hug as soon as I'd burned it all off. You all made this experience a great one; one I'll never forget. So thank you! 

P.S. As for the title, of course I will use any and all opportunities to reference The Sound of Music! Don't you know me at all?!

8 comments:

  1. I am feeling so proud of you just reading this! Congrats Congrats Congrats! As someone who JUST started training for their very first race (a 5k in May) after years and years of hating exercise and running per body image issues, I've fallen stupid in love with running - running in the morning, at night, in the sunshine, on a treadmill, in the street...anywhere, everywhere. I cannot believe the change that it has brought to my life - stillness and movement all at the same time. Thank you for writing this post - it is so unbelievably encouraging (and well written).

    Hope you're still treating yo'self!

    All the best,
    Eileen

    http://leanerbythelake.com

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! And oh how I wish I shared your enthusiasm for treadmills. It's so true that it brings stillness into your life despite being so physical. It's a time for reflection that is absolutely essential to me now.

      Good luck with your 5K! You can do it!!

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  2. Hooray!! Congrats, dude, that is so incredibly cool. You've motivated me to get off the internets and get myself to the gym now. Woo! First-step-taking...go!

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    1. Yayyyyyy!!!!!!!! *clapping and confetti*

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  3. I am SO INCREDIBLY impressed with this latest accomplishment, Sally! I've finally pushed myself to do couch to 5k, so at the moment, even running one mile seems like the BIGGEST feat to my brain. So, congrats on your awesomeness, and send some of that willpower and motivation to your fellow Mia Thermopolis.

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    1. Keep truckin' Mariah! If I can do it, you can do it!! And thank you :)

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