Running a marathon is incredible for so many reasons. I loved the catch up time with great girlfriends, the regimented training schedule and truly, I enjoyed running the races. For many reasons I am thankful that I have had the chance to join the proud marathon-running community. I am the one on the right in the below picture and my beautiful friend Laura is on the left. She was my ROCK through both marathons.
These days running a marathon seems like a super past memory, but, I will tell you, in some way everyday I think about the lesson that I learned mile 21.
I know for each person it varies slightly but right around mile 21, running is absolutely brutal. Your body tells you (emphatically) that you are straight up crazy, and it is time to enjoy a lovely brunch and for the love of God STOP RUNNING!!! But, the crazy part is, this is where, the physical side of running is so much less crucial than the mental game – you just say no. I told my body no at mile 21. No! You are not done running, we are so close, and this is not over yet. Of course I do also remind myself that of course brunch is coming and I will stop running soon. This moment of self doubt was so similar to the feeling of being dilated to an 8 while pursuing a natural childbirth and wanting to be done. What did I also do then? Well no, technically it was my incredible team and nurse saying no. But the word No was said and I was reminded that I cannot quit, I am so close.
My point is, I am not in marathon-running shape, heck I can’t run a 10k at this point. But each time I go to the gym or go on a run, I inevitably hit the point where I want to say no… And I don’t. The human body is incredible, but the power of our mind amazes me even more. I happen to live on top of a beast of a hill and each time I get the chance to run it lately, I so badly want to stop but, my pride or my stupidity or whatever won’t let me. Barnes Hill you are not winning this!
So, next time you are heading up that mother hummer of a hill, just say no!! You can stop, just not now.