March 27, 2011. That’s when I plan to run the Rock and Roll Dallas Half Marathon. It will be my first ever half marathon and I am very excited. I’m pretty sure I can do it. Although, if I am being honest with myself, I’m not exactly sure what I am basing that on. The longest race I have ever completed is 5k, so this is quite a significant jump for me. Also, I don’t really have a training plan. I just try to run on the weekends and each time go as far as I can go. My best run so far has been 9 miles. So I have about a month to get to 13.1. I don’t think that will be a problem.
The odd thing is that when I ran my last 5k several years ago I was absolutely spent at the finish. Today, I can run 5k fairly easily and yet I don’t really exercise any more frequently, or feel that I am in any better shape. So what’s the difference? How is it that 5k used to be so difficult and now has become routine? It’s all mental.
Recently my wife has become very interested in health and fitness and has run several races over the past couple of years (she actually is running her first full marathon next week). Having her as an example in my life has made a huge difference. Watching her success has made me rethink what I am capable of. This is going to sound really cheesy, but she has been a true inspiration to me. Because of her I believe I can run 13.2 miles. And that belief has made the difference in my training runs. I’m almost there, and I plan to be ready on race day.
So if you are faced with a similar challenge, the one thing I would say is this… allow yourself the possibility in your mind that you can achieve whatever it is you are striving for. If you have read any motivational literature you know its a common theme that you have to believe you can do something before you can actually do it. I am finding this to be very true. Just believe in the possibility, add in some hard work, and you might surprise yourself. I am surprising myself every time I go for a training run, and it feels great.