Running a marathon has always been in the back of my mind. When I finally decided to bite the bullet and sign up for one, I did it with the idea in mind that I could always downgrade to the half. I wasn’t sure if it was even possible for me to run 26.2 miles at once. Each day I took my training seriously and listened to my body. By race day; I was standing in my corral nervous, excited, scared, thrilled, pumped, and ready. I knew that I was at the starting line for a goal I had always dreamed about. The final leg of the journey was about to end.
One thing I learned from that experience is that no matter what the goal is; always shoot for the moon, because if I miss I truly will land among the stars. The end goal may change along the way, but as long as the finish line is ahead of where I started, then end is always a success.
Part of goal setting is to create a striving point off in the distance and checking in along the way. The first time I googled marathon training plans I was discouraged. There were 20 week plans, 26 week plans, interval abbreviations, rest day rules, cross training, speed training, needless to say I almost used my “downgrading option” right then. I didn’t believe that normal people actually kept track of all that stuff and still had time to get their runs in. Oh, and you wouldn’t believe the thoughts going through my head as I approached my first 18 mile day. The only thing that got me through it was the support of a person running right alongside me.
Along the way of all those miles, the countless number of GU’s I stomached, and sweat I lost, I discovered that setting BIG goals like knocking out a marathon to me is not about the final 26.2 miles or the finish line. The goal itself represents a guideline to lead me through change and growth. I know that no matter what finish line I cross, I still hit a goal “among the stars”.