Today, I ran my first half marathon. It has been a goal six years in the making. I came close in 2008, but then a stupid injury sidelined me. Illness, a couple of surgeries and pure laziness kept me from succeeding.
Last January, when I was on a trip to LA with my sister, I knew I had to make a big change in my life. My health had to become my priority.
After nine months of training (with a 2 month break because of travel and a mild case of laziness), I ran the Niagara International Half Marathon
with my husband, who has also been my awesome and patient coach. It was hard. My legs are not fully functional and probably won’t be for days. My head hurts. And I feel awesome.
I finally reached this goal because I had a plan: “do this much running on these days for this many weeks.” I had to start with a walking plan to build up my fitness. Then my running had to increase to be able to run 10 minutes and walk 1. And then my mileage had to build from 3 km all the way up to 20, and finally 21 km today. It meant running when I didn’t want to. There was a lot of swearing, I won’t lie. A bit of whining too. The couch would be calling, but Dave would be in his running gear and I knew I had to get my ass in gear.
At the beginning, I was scared that I would fail again. That it would continue to be this illusive goal. Right up until I went over the finish line, I was afraid I couldn’t do it.
But I did it.
And now I know I can apply the same approach to writing. I went back and re-read my notes and outline. I’m pretty happy with a lot of it, but I’ve also forgotten a lot of the direction I was heading. I’ve been intimidated by the historical research I need to do. Intimidated by the character sketches and plot points.
No more. It’s time to at start by walking, not just talking about it. So it will start with dividing the work I need to do into one month chunks, researching one key topic at a time, then developing character sketches, then moving on to those plot points. I won’t do it if I allow the intimidation to stall me or if I try to do everything at once.
I know today won’t be my last half marathon (not quite ready to commit to a full marathon yet). I am thankful for how it has prepared me to go after the biggest goal of my life.