So yeah – It has been a while. I always underestimate just how “busy” life gets in the summer time. I tend to look past summer to the school year with the endless orientation appointments, doctors visits, shopping shenanigans etc…to the real BUSY life. But yet, again, summer just flew right past us.
This summer yours truly met a milestone. This is the last year I can say I’m 29. 🙁 Next year- I reach a new decade and I’m not talking my 30’s. With age , I realize, comes reflection about life. I realized that there are things I still want to do in my younger years. I also realize that I am by no means a spring chicken. That being said I’m going to throw something out here that only a few people know. I’m hoping that by putting it out for the entire world to read, it will keep me motivated and accountable to my training. So here it goes.
I, Monica Peterson, being of partial mind and aged body, do swear that before I turn 40 next June I will…
COMPLETE a Marathon.
Yes I have lost my damn mind. Why would I, a non-runner for 39 years, think for one brief moment that I could accomplish this massive undertaking? Well- honestly- I set my goal low and I am taking things slow. Let me explain.
Set the Goals:
As I noted above my goal is to COMPLETE a marathon. I didn’t say I would run the full distance or even half. I said I would finish it. This keeps my brain grounded and and body on realistic terms with each other knowing that I won’t kill myself trying to run the entire event. THAT would be dumb. 🙂 I started with a 5K training program and once I finish that, I will move on to training for a 10K. After that a half marathon to eventually marathon training. I had to start somewhere and sitting on my couch, watching Game of Thrones and eating cookies was getting me nowhere.
When I decided to start running I also decided I need to do some other non-running training to help with muscle & strength development. Cripes I’m 39 and haven’t been to the local YMCA in over 18 months. I had to start somewhere. Again- I set small goals; so the fitness training 2-4 times a week and yoga 1-3. I will admit I haven’t hit my goals on either of them, but I do not beat myself up. I remind myself that ANY activity is better than no activity at all and try to do better next week. Some days our youngest will do exercises next to me because, as he tells me “I love exercises!” I just hope that he has that love as he gets older. Doing 40 jumping jacks at 5 years old is a lot easier than doing them in your late 30’s.
I also figure by starting NOW my chances of reaching my goal should be good. After all I am giving myself almost a year to train to run a long damn distance. My biggest fear is winter. I hate cold and being cold. I’m not stable walking outside so the thought of running outside when there is snow and ice freaks me out. BUT for now, I will wait until I get to that point. Worrying about it does nothing for my current situation.
Get the Help:
And I’m not talking about mental health. Although some of you are sure I’ve lost what few marbles I have left. One of my best friends here in Alexandria is an avid runner. She’s done a marathon along with endless 10K’s, 10 Mile races and other distances that have escaped me. Another friend of mine – a kind older Gent that I only interact with via Facebook- is a runner as well. He started running a few years ago and has done a marathon a year (I believe he’s run the Boston marathon!)
Both have been invaluable resource to me. Whether I needed input on running shoes, HOW to start training, or just a kind word, they have been there. I do not run with a group; I am just too slow at this point. But I can see group running in my future because if I have to run for 18 miles- I’m going to need someone there to tell me which way to turn.
I know I will never be an Olympic runner. My body won’t allow that. I do what I can with what God has given me. I am keeping an open mind on whether or not I will continue to run some kind of distance after I achieve my goal. My Facebook friend said he started out training to run 1 marathon and now he does one EVERY YEAR. I told him he was down right crazy. I keep myself grounded in the here and now. To do that I need to remember that I need to take baby steps; every run is a good run whether I feel that way or not.
I also have to remember to keep an eye on my body and listen to what it is telling me. Today that means trying to remember to take some kind of pain killer before I run. I also have to make sure that when I get up in the morning I put the ice pack IN the freezer so I know it will be cold when I need it 8 hours later. I hate running on treadmills but I also know that I have a husband and 3 kids and a sh*tty run on a treadmill is better than not running at all.
I will try to update you in the coming months as my training continues. I do have a “part 2” to this post that goes into more detail around what I’m using to train and accomplish my goal. I figured this post was getting long enough. Wish me luck and if you see me on the side of the road with ear buds in -just let me be. I’m sure I will be cursing at myself for thinking this was a good idea. Who knows, maybe I’ll come out the other side someone with a new appreciation for running as exercise. That is a huge “maybe”.