It’s time for another race.
I ran my first race, a half marathon, 3 months after he left. I signed up because I needed a challenge. I needed something tangible that I could overcome in a set amount of time. I needed to prove to myself that I had the strength, both mental and physical, to push through and endure. Training gave me a focus, a purpose. At that time, it served as motivation to eat so that I could gain enough weight to handle the distance. It kept me moving on days I wanted to stutter to a stop. The race gave me a reason regain my physical health and an outlet for my mental health; that first race both gave me a reason to get well and proof that I could endure.
Although I ran many more races, my next challenge was Tough Mudder the following year. The motivation this time was somewhat different. I saw this as an opportunity to overcome the adversity with a partner, my boyfriend of less than a year at that point. It was a test of trust, of bonding, of partnership. Sharing the experience and overcoming the obstacles together brought us closer. The physical demands also stepped up my game; the half marathon I ran 7 days later was a mere blip on the screen after what those crazy Mudders put me through.
It’s been a year and I haven’t faced another challenge. It’s time for another race.
I’ve signed up for a marathon this fall. My first. I’m doing this one alone, in contrast to the first two. This will be my longest distance by far; I have yet to run more than 15 miles in a stretch. But that’s not really the challenge. I’ve shied away from this ultimate run in the past because of the training requirements; they are quite daunting. My challenge this time and my motivation is to learn how to maintain balance in my life even when something is pulling at me like an impatient toddler. I want to complete the training without being consumed by the training. I need to prove to myself that I can tackle a challenge and continue to live in the process. So, here’s to 26.2!
I’m a little afraid of what next year might bring if I continue this pattern…