Hard to Imagine

It’s hard to imagine running a half marathon when you aren’t someone who runs. It’s hard to imagine all of the work that it takes to train your body. It’s hard to imagine waking up at 5 am on a Saturday to get your long run miles in. It’s hard to imagine…but it’s possible.

These are all things that I was thinking before my training began and in the first few months. I wasn’t mentally in the right head space. I thought that I wasn’t capable of running a half marathon, especially not the training for it. I thought I couldn’t even run a mile without stopping. I thought about all of the things I could have been doing with my time. BUT…then I changed my mentality.

I thought how it was only a three mile run. I thought how it would only take me about 45 minutes if I just get out there and do it. I thought about how much better I feel after a run. I thought about accomplishing a goal that I set before myself. I thought about how proud of myself I would be once I reached that goal. I thought about all of the people watching and cheering me on through this process. I thought about crossing that finish line as a half marathon finisher.

It’s been three months since I began my training. Three months of running three times during the weekdays and once on the weekends. Three months of staying hydrated. Three months of muscle cramps. Three months of sweat (and sometimes tears). Three months of carb loading before a long run. Three months and 137.2 miles later, I can say that I CAN do this.

Never did I think that I can train and complete a half marathon, but I know that I can. It takes time and effort. It takes the right mentality. It takes setting a goal for yourself. For me in particular, it takes for me to know that my pace is my pace. I sometimes feel like I am “too slow” but I am having to understand that I’m running what I can. I’m having to know that a seven minute mile is the same exact thing as a 13 minutes mile..BOTH ARE A MILE. It’s not something that I just always remember and think of..sometimes I have to be reminded. I am encouraged when I remember that statement. It gives me the strength to keep going. When I think of all of the people cheering me on, I get encouraged and I keep going. I have to keep going.

It’s hard to imagine that I am only two months away from my half marathon. It’s hard to imagine that I’m going to be running 13.1 miles. The only difference in these two things is that it’s a different kind of “hard to imagine.” What I mean by this is that it’s crazy how fast this training has gone. I never thought I could the mileage I am running now. BUT I AM. I never thought that I could ENJOY running (yes yes I just said it). BUT I AM. What else am I doing? I am training three days during the weekday and once on the weekend. I am waking up at 5 am on a Saturday to get my long runs in. I am running a half marathon. I am completing a half marathon.

I hope that this post encourages those of you who may be right where I am or where I was. I hope that you know that you can do this. I hope you know that you can do whatever you put your mind to. I hope you know that your pace is your pace. I hope you know that you will reach your goals!

Now, get out there and get your miles in 🙂

-Kelsea Dolan