Well I think I set a record for myself. I have officially waited the longest time to register for any marathon or half marathon that I have ever ran. (3 days before!) The wait wasn’t because I kept forgetting, which it isn’t uncommon for me to forget things. I waited because I wasn’t sure I had it in me to do the Franklin Half again. The last two years I have ran a 1:40, which are my two worst in probably a decade. However I did win my age group both times, which may tell me that it is a hard course for a lot of people, not a fast one. The three dreaded H’s are the reasons I have been hesitant to sign up. I am speaking of the heat, the hills, and the humidity. I hate them all. It’s a tough course, in tough weather. It also doesn’t help that my friend I normally go with is unfortunately out with an injury. I hate that for her and I hate it because as a working mom of four, I don’t often get to see my friends. Going to races with them is something that I enjoy.
The Franklin Half isn’t one of those races where I know I stand a chance to break my own record, or really even leave there feeling the way I do when I run a half like the Country Music or Murfreesboro. However one thing I do know…it is a race that makes me stronger. I could run my worst time ever for a half, and still gain strength from it. I fear the hills, there I said it. I honestly don’t make myself train often enough on them. It’s like self inflicting pain.
Leaving a race that you don’t do well in can be very deflating and quite frankly unmotivating. Since I’m already struggling with summertime running burnout, I wasn’t sure I needed to do anything to make it worse. But the truth is, facing your fears can build confidence. I have to remind myself that it is okay to leave a race and not do well. No one has a great race every time. But if you want to get better, which I do, you have to make yourself do those things that are hard. It’s like they say, “If it were easy, everyone would do it. It’s not easy and that’s makes it worth it. ”
So after waffling back and forth, I decided to sign up. And if I’m being honest, I also remembered the chocolate milk and chocolate chunk cookies at the end. That may have been a factor in my change of heart. There is a lot to gain from doing the things you fear the most. It’s easy to be comfortable in anything that we do. But life isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always comfortable. I know I am approaching 38 at the end of this year. I don’t want this to be where I let it all go downhill. I have a lot of running years left in me. Did you see the 92 year old lady that just ran a marathon? It’s simply amazing. You really are never too old. So with all that in mind, I will just head to the race Saturday and do the best I can. After all, trying our best is all anyone can do. Regardless of what happens, I know I will come out on the other end of those 13.1 miles both physically and mentally just a little bit tougher.