Saturday, February 9, 2013

Surf City Half Marathon race report

Submitted by Heather Stewart @captainstewie

Sometimes I have to remind myself why I do this. Running is by far the most frustrating thing I’ve ever done. I am asking my body to do something it doesn’t always want to do. I am pushing myself past the point of exhaustion until I can’t go any further and then I keep going.  I’ve changed the way I eat, the way I sleep, the way I spend my time.

And sometimes I wonder, for what? I can’t seem to get faster. I can’t seem to lose any more weight. Running often reminds me of what I can’t do.

But here’s the thing: It reminds me of what I can do as well. Lacing up my shoes and hitting the treadmill or the pavement reminds me that it wasn’t that long ago that I didn’t have the desire or the courage to do what I do almost every day now. Turning on my Garmin is a testament to how serious I am about being the best me I can be. I am a better person because I can run. I have more determination that I ever had before. I make goals and plans and I stick with them. I have more courage than I had before. Things still scare me, but I don’t let them stop me. I have the strength to stand up for myself when I have to and to let things go when I need to.

Some things are easier to let go than others. This I know for sure. But I’m trying. I’m trying to let go of the expectations I put on myself. I’m letting go of the comparisons I make between myself and other people. I’m letting go of that voice in my head that tells me I’ll never get faster.

Right now, I’m not supposed to get faster.  I’m in training to go further. I will get faster. But I need to conquer one thing at a time.

Surf City was a difficult race for me. It didn’t break me, but I definitely cracked. I ran slowly, but my legs were already fatigued from the over 500 minutes of exercise I did last week. (Yes, I’m a freaky tracker with spreadsheets and everything). I was tired from a long week of responsibilities (school, work), fun (a concert, friend’s birthday party) and other stresses. Even though I got plenty of sleep the night before, I was playing catch up. I was tired and my pace proved it.

But I kept moving forward.

You always hear how running is a metaphor for life and maybe its cliché’ but it’s so true. Just like in life, you can’t go backwards. I mean, technically you could but why go away from the prize when it’s waiting for you. All you need is the rhythm of the other races to help guide you along. You can’t stand still, you’ll get trampled and you won’t get anywhere!

So you move forward. You move towards something. Whether your goal is to get the medal, set a new PR, or simply finish.  The only way to reach any of those goals is to move forward.

It’s not always pretty, it’s definitely not always fast, but it’s always a goal met. And that feels really really really awesome.

On Sunday February 3, I ran
First for me: a goal is a goal.
Second for my family: I wouldn’t be there without them.
And I #run3rd for you! Your dedications were in my pocket, helping me along for 13.1.

Finishing Time:  2:55:47
LA Marathon T minus 36 days…

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