Three and half weeks. That’s how far away we are from the first Red Faced Runners’ 5k Challenge! We are inspired by so many of you who took either tentative steps or enormous leaps out of your comfort zones to join us on this quest.
Logging onto our Facebook page each day brings updates such as, “I’m running 25 minutes straight for the first time today and I’m terrified.” Then, later in the day: “I did it and I feel fantastic! I never thought I’d be able to do it.” The preconceptions you had of your own physical limitations are wiped away every time you lace up your running shoes.
“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.” – George Sheehan
No truer words were spoken. Countless times, that little voice told me that I couldn’t do it, that I’d never be able to make it one more mile, or sprint the last half mile, or push past the fatigue in my legs. At the beginning, I relinquished control to that little voice…and then felt like hurling my running shoes across the yard and throwing a little hissy fit over my apparent lack of mental fortitude.
I’d like to think I’m a little wiser now, a little stronger and a whole lot better at keeping things in perspective. If I have a tough run…well, it’s not the end of the world. Tomorrow’s a new day. I don’t let those bad days de-rail me anymore. In fact, I have a personal vendetta against them and am determined to re-write history with a better run.
“Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” - William Faulkner
So, where am I with my training? As some of you know, I am training for my first marathon. The weekly mileage is increasing, my muscles are getting stronger (and getting completely worked on some days) and I’m feeling really positive about the whole experience. Are all of my runs “awesome” or “fantastic”? Heck no! Quite frankly, some of them suck. But I’m learning to use my Warrior Words (currently “Energize”) to push and pull me up those real and imagined hills. When I make up and over that hill, I feel as though I shoved that little voice in a box, turned the lock and threw away the key.
Whether you’re walking, running or crawling, let’s make the most of the next three and half weeks. We’re all out there together and I can’t wait to line up on that virtual starting line with all of you.