This past weekend I hit a personal goal of mine – to complete a half-marathon. I traveled several hours from home, along with my family who wonderfully support me and are my biggest cheerleaders to compete in the Girlfriend’s Half Marathon in Vancouver, Washington.
As we drove home I reflected on the journey to get to the finish line and how critical it was for me to have this goal set before me. Something that I was completely responsible for achieving – it didn’t rely on anyone else but me to make the time to train, keep my focus and continue to have confidence in myself. As moms, we tend to lose these personal goals and focus all of our energy on our family, which can have us feeling a little resentful.
This little idea of running happened about 6 months ago when I ran across this great blog, Five Kids is a Lot of Kids where the talented writer, Beth had me laughing til I would almost pee my pants. Her take on motherhood and real life adventures is so refreshing I was hooked immediately.
Then she mentioned in a post that she was planning to run in the Grilfriend’s Half Marathon and to make a long story short – I decided to sign up to run with her and her girlfriends! Actually she was very gracious and was thoroughly excited to have me.
So the goal was set.
I would have several months to get back into running, which I had drifted away from as I struggled with the symptoms of my recent diagnosis of Lupus. This challenge was extremely personal and to me and honestly, I had to see if my body could “do” what it had done before. Could I in fact build my endurance back up and run like I had run several years ago. Time would tell.
So with the help of a new Girlfriend and the Girlfriend’s Half Marathon I was on my path to finding out if I could in fact run 13.1 miles again.
Girlfriends are so important and I loved that this race would be only woman and full of energy and encouragement – because that is just how woman are!
Shortly into the training it was clear that my body was different, I had to train more slowly that I had years before and I struggled with physical problems after long runs that had me very discouraged. It would have been very easy to quit. It was tempting, especially after a 10 mile run when I was so sick I could only lie on the sofa. My family took up the slack and still encouraged me. Two weeks before the race I told my husband I didn’t think I should do it and he encouraged me and told me I would regret quitting now – boy, he knows me so well!
Here is where the guts came into play. I had to dig down deep to get the determination to continue and be willing to be very uncomfortable in the process. But this was my goal, something I needed to prove to myself and it impacted every aspect of my life. Even through the tough process I know having a goal of any kind makes us better mothers. We can live beyond our families and strive for bigger things than just the repetitive what’s for dinner or how best to get white clothes really white! It requires more of us which helps us grow.
So, Sunday, October 16th I was able to meet my new Girlfriend Beth, right before our race. I even liked her more in person! You see beyond our kids and funny stories about motherhood, we had a common goal outside our families. It was a girlfriend goal – completing that 13.1 mile course and living to tell about it! It was personal for each of us and it was so nice to know someone else was rooting for you too. A true girlfriend wants you to succeed and honestly, that day did I not only have my family with me, but my new girlfriend Beth (and her cousin Julie) but 3200 other girlfriends running with me! (Here we are at the start of the race)
It was a fun race, a tiring race and I was really glad when it was over! (I am holding my finisher’s necklace in the photo, not striking a pose, but that lady over my should surely was striking a pose!) I struggled with some foot pain, which resulted in me walking a bit, but I was really encouraged the next day when I received my official run time for the race, 2:19:20. (Here is a link to a video prior to the finish) I knew during the race I was running close to a personal best for me, but had to wait for the official results. Well, I was a little disappointed as my personal best was actually, 2:17:24. But you know what? I had run that race 5 years ago! Should I be disappointed? I have decided NO! I will celebrate that I had my second best time running a half marathon (out of four races) and truly celebrate that even though my body is combating an immune disorder, I can and did overcome a major milestone for me.
So what goal has been sitting idle on your list? Do you have something on your bucket list and needs to be checked off? Get that goal lined up, check in with some girlfriends, dig deep down to get some guts and then revel in that GLORY mama! It will help you be a better mom, I can guarantee it!
What’s on your list?