It's kind of surreal- the work I've done (and subsequently complained about), the social life I've forgone, the changes I've made to my already fairly healthy diet. I've run through terrible cold and sometimes blizzard conditions, and I've had a few bright, unexpectedly warm days. I've had flat courses and face-slapping hills. I've had IT band problems, shin aches, knee pains, sore muscles, back issues...
...all in all, not too bad for a four month length of training.
Pushing myself is something I've had to practice. It doesn't come that easily for me. I went into this thinking, "OK, it'll be hard, but it's within my realm of capabilities."
But I have had my days where I wasn't sure that was true. Where I thought if I didn't have a team to lead into the miles every Saturday, I may have given up by now. Because this training went above and beyond "hard". I tapped into stores of focus and determination I've never touched before.
I had to make up my mind that succeeding at my goal outweighed being comfortable.
We should all live our lives in a way that challenges us. We should do things that are hard, so hard that we doubt our abilities. We you meet a hill, go up it. When you want to stop, focus on a point ahead and keep moving until you touch it.
Decide to do something not because it's easy, but because the challenge will make you feel good about what you can do.
On race day, I'm going to bring focus, optimism, and pride in the work I've done to get me to the starting line.
"Running takes me back to square one. It gives me a basic measure of accomplishment from which all other challenges take relevance." ~Brian McIlrath