Sunday May 6, 2012 is a day I'll never forget. But the story around this day and its success started 4 days prior. At work some coworkers and I were having a team lunch. I was excitedly telling my co-workers about the 5k I ran the weekend before and how I placed 4th in my age group even though I was sick as a dog and had to stop 3 times to cough up a lung. Feeling "high" from that day I decided I was going to run another 5k with a friend of mine this upcoming weekend feeling confident I could maybe actually place since I was feeling better.
My friend Mike brought up the topic about me submitting an entry to Eric's who wants to run "The Cool Impossible" and wanted to know how I was doing in my preparations to run the 100 miles. Mike himself ran the Western States 100 a few years back.
I said to him, well I've been running a lot more (signing up for 5ks and 10ks), made the switch to minimalist shoes and started eating better. So right out in front of everyone he says to me, so why are you running another 5k? If your goal is 100 miles than you better start running longer distances and forget about these little 5k's.
His comments stayed with me.
I left that lunch somewhat defeated but knowing he was right. Later that night I searched on line for any local races and found out it was our Long Island Marathon weekend and on Sunday May 6 they were going to have 3 races. 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon.
The Half Marathon had my name all over it. I was riding on the fact that I had run 11 miles two weeks ago, so maybe I could pull this off?? The race was in four days.
That brings me too yesterday. My goodness what an experience!! I showed up, ran my race and learned a lot along the way (I can write a huge blog just on this alone). But here's my favorite part...
Mile 11.5 my head started telling me I ran far enough and that I could stop now just take a rest, let the legs stop moving for a few moments and that I'd feel better if I did. I slowed a little allowing myself to be "in the moment" (i literally chanted be in the Moment) and recognized the trick my mind was playing on me. I took stock of how my body felt and realized there's "gas" still left in the tank, I'm not giving up.
By mile 12.5 my body was aching all over. I had to work through that last mile I just ran and now was faced with .6 miles to go.
So many people started to stop and walk. I wanted to so badly it seemed like it would feel so good even if it were just for a brief moment. Then I reminded myself, of my race strategy. I knew adrenaline would take me through the first 5 miles of this race and that the last 8 I’d have to work at it. I worked through 7.5 of those remaining 8 miles already and I'd be darned if I were going to give up now. So what did I do??
I closed my eyes literally and ran with them closed for about 10 seconds, took a few deep breaths, relaxed, tilted myself forward to let gravity help bring me in and just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I started chanting, "one foot in front of the other".
I looked up and saw the finish line a few hundred yards away. People were sluggishly drifting in. That’s what I bet I looked like for the past half mile! But it seemed all wrong to me...my gut was telling me something was wrong.
I asked myself two questions right then and there...am I "present"? Meaning am I in the moment, laser focused on what I'm doing? And am I living my truth? Meaning the three words I use to define myself...enthusiastic, bold and present. Just by asking myself those questions I immediately became refocused on what my goal was and made darn sure I looked enthusiastic and bold as I took off and sprinted the last few hundred yards of this half marathon. I was finishing this race, the way I started it....bold and enthusiastic and indeed I did. :)
13.1 miles down another 86.9 to go!!