Hey everyone! I wasn’t originally planning on writing a post for today, but I just have something I feel like sharing with you all because I have been feeling pretty down about race training lately. As you know, I ran my first half marathon last February (yay Disney Princess Half!), and basically ever since then I’ve been in and out of training for a half marathon. I go from one race to another with only a few weeks off in between (or in the case of the Her Tern Half, a giant cross-country move), and I think it’s starting to wear on me. It’s hard to enjoy running when it’s something that you have to do instead of something fun that you’re doing for yourself, you know? And then I really started thinking about it: why am I actually running the Zion Half Marathon? Aren’t I doing it for myself?
The first thing that comes to mind is the moment when I discovered the race. I was a homesick, stressed out mess in Seward desperately trying to find a job so that we wouldn’t be poor and homeless in Anchorage. I was on Facebook trying to zone out, when I noticed a suggested page: Vacation Races. I love vacations and I love races, so I decided to check it out. And that’s when I discovered the world of running to visit national parks. At the time I was living on the edge of a national park and thought it was the greatest idea ever. You may have remembered this post where I was trying to choose my big race for 2015. Andrew and I kept going back and forth about it, but then I saw this video and my mind was made up. If you have an extra 2 minutes, watch it. It’s the post-2014 Zion race review and it gave me goosebumps. Even now, it gets me teary eyed. Zion looks absolutely beautiful and so different from any place I’ve ever been before. And seeing all of those happy runners racing through the sunrise with huge smiles on their faces is inspiring. It was that video that caused me to want to run this race. I signed up, and didn’t look back – that is, until training started.
Sure, I’m back on track now and getting ish done when I need to. But it’s not as easy as it should be. There needs to be something I can think of when I’m just over the treadmill or want to take an unauthorized rest day or feel myself dreading a tempo run and just want to run for fun instead. And that’s why I’m writing this post today, because I need these reminders so much lately. So I present to you all the 13 reasons I’m running those 13.1 miles in Zion National Park:
- Because I love to run. I really, really do. No matter what my brain says on long run day.
- To travel to a beautiful part of the US where I’ve never been before
- To cross Utah off my racing in 50 states list
- To get another stamp in my National Park Passport (who else has one?)
- Because I can run, and I want to run as much as I can while I can
- To try to break my 2:30:35 PR, even on an uphill course
- To get my old running strength and motivation back
- To eat post-race pizza while wearing the race medal (yep, it’s that important)
- To hike a giant mountain after the race with my medal on so I can join the Angels Club (note: I may die if I attempt this so I might stick to pizza instead)
- To stick to a training plan for the first time since Disney Princess and prove that I can finish what I start
- To find cross training that I like and stick with it to make me a better runner overall
- To run through an incredible course that will be beautiful, humbling, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience
- To finish half #5 with a smile on my face – I want redemption for the last two half marathons!
It’s so hard for me to lose sight of why I started this journey in the first place. In fact, when I’m feeling overwhelmed I feel like I’ve always been on a training journey! But I need to remember that each race is a new journey – one that I come to with excitement, worry, and nerves. I have no idea what will happen on race day, so I need to focus on the journey ahead of me instead. I’m 1/3 done with training and I’m going to focus on embracing each workout because it’s taking me closer to my ultimate goal: #13 on that list. And okay, maybe the views aren’t that bad either 🙂
Are you training for a race? Why? And how do you push past tough moments in your training?
*EDIT: I just realized this is my 250th post! Whaaaaaaaaat! Who knew I’d be blogging this long? Thanks for reading, and props if you’ve read all 250!*