I decided to officially begin my project yesterday, as I ran a half marathon. I thought that it would be the perfect way to begin it, as this half marathon was a huge deal in my life. I was fearful that my time would be horrible, that I would not finish, that my time would be even more disappointing than the 3 hours and 15 minutes of my first half. I wanted to start the project with this half marathon, because, though I was fearful, I wanted it to be more than that. I wanted it to be the beginning of a new me.
I don't know what it was.. my new shoes, my new vegetarian diet, the running socks that I wore yesterday (haha.), but something made this race a million times easier than last time. I didn't even feel exhausted until mile ten. Last time, I was ready to quit at mile eight. Not this time. I think I even laughed to myself at mile eight this time. That's not to say that it was easy by any means. I still wanted to stop and walk the majority of the time- and I did stop and walk more than I wish I would have, but I ran quite a bit.
Mile one sucked. I ran as far as I could without stopping, which was almost an entire mile. No, I'm not in shape at all. My BMI is in the "overweight category"- though on the low end of it. A year ago at this time, I was "obese" so this is a pretty big deal for me. However, back to the point... I ran as far as I could for the first mile, though it wasn't far by some standards. Every time I stopped after that first mile, I only let myself walk for a little over a minute at the most before running again. I wasn't tired until I crossed the sign for mile ten. At mile ten, I was exhausted. It became difficult to put my left foot in front of my right. Though I was tired, it didn't really HURT like I thought it would. At mile ten, though, I only had 3.1 miles left.. and the time clock said that I had over 40 minutes to get to the finish line and finish under three hours. I didn't give up, though I wanted to for about a mile. I think miles ten and eleven were the absolute worst. I thought that they would not end. I was tired, my legs were fighting against me. I watched the people ahead of me, though, and was able to push through by trying to keep up with them (well, and by trying to stay ahead of them.)
The people cheering on the side of the road kept me going, especially when I could hear them over my ipod. It was incredible. When I turned that last corner and saw that the clock at the finish line was less than three hours, I almost started to cry. I crossed the finish line to strangers clapping for me, as my best friend practically jumped on top of me (she finished in like two hours and twenty minutes. how lame... and what a completely respectable and impressive time.)... I couldn't believe it. Then I realized that my armpits were raw and bloody, because I hadn't thought that my skin would rub raw if I wore a short sleeved shirt. That's when my arms started to hurt, which led to some pain in my thighs.. naturally. I noticed that if I kept moving around, it didn't hurt as much. When I stopped and watched my mom finish and get her snacks at the end, my legs got used to standing still. That's when it started to really hurt, but it still wasn't as bad as I expected. I felt like I was on top of the world. When I finished that race, I felt like I could probably do anything in the world... and complete it.
I'm glad I decided to start the project with yesterday's race. I think that the feeling of exhilaration and excitement that came over me at the end really made a difference. I actually felt positive about this project, when I thought I wouldn't be able to really finish it. When I came up with the goal of running 1000 miles in a year, I thought that I would never be able to get it done, because it felt crazy for a girl who goes to school full time and has three part time jobs. It feels possible though now. I have to average about 20 miles a week. That's not so bad.
Today, after I worked four hours, I decided to try a short run to see how I felt. My goal was to do about 3 miles, but I didn't quite get that far. I got sore as I was running. Actually, my legs really hurt right now. I'm worried about walking on campus tomorrow, but we'll see how it goes. Maybe I will miraculously wake up with no pain. Is that a possibility? Anyhow, I didn't want to push myself too hard today, knowing that my muscles are probably still somewhat injured from yesterday and need a little recouperating time. So I did a lap around the block and came back to my car. Maybe tomorrow will be a little bit easier. I hope so.
Goal: 1000 mi/365 days
So far: 14.91 mi/2 days
To go: 985.09 mi/ 363 days