Sunday started off like many other days this winter. The night before had been very cold, and by 10 a.m. it was barely 20 degrees out. About an inch of snow had fallen overnight, coating the ground. After doing some errands, I met Kathy and—like on recent Sundays—we set out on one of our long runs, which is part of our marathon training plan.
Mile 1, 2,3,4,5
Piece of cake. I run at least this distance nearly every single day now.
Mile 6, 7, 8, 9 10
At this point, it felt like a typical Saturday morning when I run with my running group. I was getting a great workout in.
Mile 11, 12, 13
By this time, I had been on my feet for about two hours. It was beginning to seem like I was running forever. I did not feel like the end was anywhere in sight.
Mile 14, 15
Along with the continuous running, plus some hills, and dealing with the cold, I was getting tired. Still, I continued.
When I looked at my watch and saw I had reached this number, something immediately felt different. I became stronger and my footsteps grew lighter. I no longer was as tired and time seemed to stand still. It even became easier to breathe. It was probably all in my head, but I felt I was getting a second wind. I realized this was because I had just “stepped” into new territory. I had never reached this mileage before–not in my marathon training, nor before it began. It was way over the half marathon point, and exceeded the two times I had run 15 miles.
As mile 17 began to approach, we both grew very quiet and I became conscious of the sounds all around me: cars passing by, people talking near their houses, and dogs barking in the distance. I felt the sun—which was now high in the sky—warming my face. I was almost there. I held my arm up and watched in eager anticipation as the numbers on my watch worked their way up.
And then I saw it, clear as day—17.
I had done it! I had reached my goal for that day! Although I fully realize 26.2 miles is still quite a way from 17, at that moment in time it actually seemed VERY attainable! While there are still many more days, weeks, and months of training ahead of me until marathon day, I’m now more confident than ever I can get through it–all of it. If you set a goal for something you really want to accomplish, no matter how challenging it may seem to you at the time, with enough practice, patience, and perseverance, you too can achieve it.