I’m starting to wrap my head around the fact that I might not be able to run my half marathon on Saturday.
For those of you just joining me, I’ve been training for the 500 Festival Mini Marathon for the past four months. It is my first race over a 5K distance and, not so awesomely, I have been fighting a cold for the past week.
Yesterday, my cold started to move into my chest—the death sentence for cardio—and it seems to not be budging. Of course, I still have four days and a handful of hours. With the amount of rest, clean eating and water drinking I am doing, it is entirely possible that I’ll feel great by Saturday. But it is also entirely possible that I might not be running across that finish line, and I need to accept that.
Obviously, there is an entire realm of possibilities that live between “sitting at home on the couch” and “winning the race”. I might walk the whole thing. I might do more walking that usually. Hell, I might feel awesome and run faster than I’ve ever run before. Right now, it is definitely a game-time decision.
But what can’t wait is mentally preparing myself for whatever happens on Saturday. I’ve sweat, cursed and ice bathed through hundreds of miles of training over the past four months. It is decidedly hard to contemplate putting all that aside thanks to some stupid virus. I am invested in this and it is hard to be sidelined at the last-minute. But I need to remember this:
Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.
Sure, running across that finish line would be awesome. But it is also important to appreciate (and be prideful) of how far I’ve come, regardless of my result on Saturday. I used to be almost 300 pounds. I used to have to stop after jogging 1/4 mile. I used to not be able to shop for clothes at most stores. I used to eat fast food. I used to have high blood pressure. I used to be killing myself.
Now, regardless of what happens on Saturday, I am strong. I am living. And I am impressed with myself.
As of today, I’m throwing out any time goals or race plans and changing my goals to these:
- I want to have fun. Soak up everything. Take pictures. Kiss the bricks. Listen to the bands. High-five the spectators.
- I want to finish. I don’t care if I don’t run a single step, but I want to cross that finish line and get my medal.
- I want to be proud. Because doing anything for 13.1 miles is something to be proud of. Yes, even walking.
So we’ll see. And for now, I’m going to go drink some more tea and take a nap. And remind myself that if this one isn’t meant to be, there will always be other races.