Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tulsa Half Marathon

Most people have their thing.  To be your "thing" - its just has to be something you love. You don't have to be amazing at it.  You just have to love it.  Maybe something sporty, maybe something crafty, maybe sitting on the couch watching TV and eating popcorn.  And your thing can change.  That's the beauty of it.  Its yours.  Because its your thing. Whats your thing?

My thing, is running. (A close 2nd is sitting on the couch, watching my fav shows eating popcorn) I'm not super amazing at it.  I just like it.  I like how I feel when I get back from a run.  I like getting up before the world and watching starts fade and the sun rise. I like the gear. You really only need shoes but believe it or not, there is a whole lot of unnecessary gear that can suck you in.  I have been sucked in.  When I'm out running, its just me and the pavement.  I don't have answer my phone or texts.  I like that fact that when I run, I really only have to compete against myself. And if I don't want to do that, I don't have to.

Three months ago, I set a goal for myself.  Well, I really set two.  I set this one goal that was a stretch, given my past performance.  And then I set this other goal that I was pretty sure I could attain.  That's probably not really good goal setting technique.  But I did it anyway.  I was competing against myself, my age, and I was determined to win.  I normally run by myself, but I was happy for the opportunity to run with some of my friends who I had never run with before.  And I'll be honest.  I was intimidated.  They are much faster than me.  I didn't want to slow anyone down, or make them feel like they had to wait on me.  But I decided to go.  I'm so glad I did.  They pushed me.  I had some of my fastest long runs with those girls.  So it was fun to meet up with them in Tulsa.

Waiting in the start corral....


It was super humid and in the 50's.  Once I got going and figured out my hydration, I felt great.  If you've never run a race, one of the best things about races are peoples signs along the way.  Some are funny, some are inspiring and some make no sense at all.  Its such a great distraction.  And they're always clapping and cheering you on.  Its funny how total strangers can give you a boost.  At mile 12 my headphones somehow got disconnected from my phone so it was just me and my mental banter.  That last mile was the hardest mile for some reason.  I just kept saying to myself, "Just Finish Strong, Amy, Just Finish Strong". As I glanced at my watch a few feet before the finish line, I figured out that I had reached that goal that was a stretch for me.  I can't tell you how amazing it felt.

Running may not be your thing.  And that is totally ok.  But everyone should be able to experience that feeling of setting a goal, working towards it, and reaching it.  Find something that you want to do, and figure out how to do it.  And then...just finish strong.




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