A few people have asked me in the last week or so if I am still running. Ummmm, YES. That is a given. :)
A dear, sweet friend told me a couple of weeks ago that she wished she could send me a "running reset button". (She also offered words of encouragement, support, and inspiration). Her comment stuck with me, and I realized that I did need a reset button - physically and mentally. The last couple of weeks have involved a lot of soul-searching and a lot of thinking about WHY I am running, why I am training, and why I have chosen the goal that I have.
What I decided/realized/remembered, is that I am running because I love it, and it is a part of who I am. I am training because at this time I am enjoying seeing how good I can be, I love racing, and I find joy and satisfaction in setting goals and working hard day in and day out to achieve them. And I set the goal of trying to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2016 because in my opinion, that is the biggest running accomplishment possible for me. To be able to line up and race with the best of the best in an Olympic Trials race - even though I would be FAR behind the winners, would be the greatest honor and accomplishment I could experience with my marathon running.
Sure, there are plenty of reasons why I may not reach my goal.
I do not have years of running or racing experience. Less than four years ago I had never run more than a mile at once. I do not have tons of natural talent. I do not have a running group with other runners (and faster runners!) to learn from and to push me. At 35 years old I do not have age or time on my side. With 12 kids and a very full life, I have other priorities and do not just focus on my running and training - or sleeping.
So some may say that my goal is out of reach - that it is unrealistic. Some may think that I have accomplished all that I will accomplish in running. Some may think I am crazy for putting such a lofty goal "out there".
But you know what? There are plenty of things that I do have going for me. I have huge determination and work ethic. I have the ability to run high mileage and lots of tough workouts and not get injured. I am an eternal optimist. I have an indomitable spirit. I have made a whole lot of progress in three years, and have three more years to keep at it. I have a LOVE of this sport. I am stubborn. I have the best support system ever. I have a plan. I have faith.
I have a full, beautiful life. I am married to my true love and soul mate. I have twelve (!!) kids who bless me beyond words. I have family and friends who lift me up in every way. I live in the most amazing place. I have a deep love of God and faith that carries me through good times and through life's challenges.
Whether I achieve my running goal of the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials or not, I am a happy, blessed person living a wonderful life. Goals are great and important, but the journey has to be rewarding, joyful, and satisfying, even when (especially when) the journey has it's rough spots and involves a whole lot of hard work.
This last couple of weeks and this trip to New York is my "reset button". I am going to NY and will be enjoying time alone with Josh, time with family, and time with friends. We have some incredible opportunities and experiences awaiting us in the Big Apple. I am going to run the race that I love through a city that I love, in what is looking like will be perfect weather. I am going in to this race with no pressure and no goals other than to enjoy the experience, and I am running it FOR ME.
And then I am going to come home, recover, and get back to work with a refreshed spirit, a rested body, a new coach, a plan I am confident in, and my indomitable spirit - ready to enjoy every minute of the journey.
“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision
is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy
of what you shall at last unveil.” – James Allen
“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr
“No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big.” – Anonymous
“At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve