Put In the Time and Keep Showing Up

Growing up I always hated running. I loved soccer, but preferred defense. I loved basketball but hated the sprinting drills. I loved gym class but hated the 1 mile run. I still have this vivid memory of middle school gym class where we had just completed the 1 mile run, and I finished with a 7 min 30 seconds time, but apparently the last time we did the run in gym class I had run 7 mins and 27 seconds. My gym coach told me I needed to re-run the mile so that I could get my "PR", personal record. I told him I didn't want to, but he insisted. The next week when he had a few of us re-run the mile, I cried, and walked.. the entire thing. If I hadn't been religious growing up, I might've walked around that track with my middle fingers raised high in the air. The women's march was real, but so was my middle school anti-mile march. I was making a statement. 

I feel from that point on I always slated myself as "not a runner" or "slow as fuck".. but these were just mental insecurities.

In college I only "ran" on the treadmill to burn calories, and when I say run, I mean run a minute walk a minute mixed in with some uphill walking. Then post college, I really focused on the uphill training, the hiking... but still I avoided running. 

Then in 2016 I lost a bet to my boyfriend, and my punishment was to run a half marathon. Its reasonable to say I've come a long way from my middle school days, and I've reached a point in my life where I've realized that if I put in the work, I can make almost anything happen. So, I made a plan and set a goal to just finish, and in November I did just that. I ran 13.1 miles at the Catalina half marathon (actually 14.1 because the race mileage was 1 mile longer than it should've been) with 2700' of elevation gain, and damn, I felt good. 

So ok, I guess I'm a runner now. I put in 5 miles at minimum almost every other day now. I'm not the fastest runner, but I'm still putting in the time... the hours of training every week. 

Right now I've set a goal of 21 miles. The Big Sur 21 miler. I'm one month into my training for that and the race is April 30th. Sometimes I doubt whether I'll be able to finish that race, as there is a time limit, but then I think... I know I can finish it. I just have to keep showing up the next few months and training for it, and conditioning my body for it. 21 miles is no great feat for mankind, and I'd like to think it's no great feat for me. Now I just need to prove it.

Then what next? 30 miles? 50 miles? 100 miles? 

Or maybe it stops there and I think, that was nice, and move on to something else. Until then, I'm really inspired by what other people are doing out there with their bodies and pushing themselves to new limits.... so why not me? I've just got to keep putting in that time. Just keep showing up. And not just for running either... running is just one of many things I'm hoping to push myself further in 2017.

Keep showing up people, and it will happen. At least, thats the motto I'm sticking with.

Cheers.

RunningAllison BoyleComment