Let’s do the hard things

by Beth Anne on February 1, 2013

A week ago, the run nearly broke me. On the rolling hills surrounding my office, I ran & hurt & finally stopped on the final run. I couldn’t do anymore. I texted Doug & my friend Sarah that maybe I just wasn’t a runner. I’ve never ran more than a mile straight even at my most fit, so what the hell was I thinking when I signed up for a triathlon?

That day, I shoved my running shoes in the backseat of my car & didn’t look at them for a week. They say not to quit on a bad day & I wasn’t going to quit, but I needed space.  I read this over & over again. (ruthanne, thank you for inspiring me!) 

Then last night I shrugged off my sweater & laced up my running sneakers. I stuck earbuds in under my fleece headband & took a puff on my inhalor.  It was dusk when I set out through the neighborhood. I like that it’s staying light longer.  The run felt easy & natural. My back felt straight, my breathing even all the way to my diaphram.

On the last two stretches of runs, I faced hills. A part of me almost threw up in fear & I know that sounds dramatic, because it is & it’s not all at the same time. I told myself to just go. To put one foot in front of the other & it didn’t matter how slow it was or how awful it felt, I would just keep going until it was over.  I ran up both hills.

It was ugly. It was slow. I made faces like Sloth from Goonies. There were times where I grunted out KEEP GOING, GET UP THERE, DO NOT QUIT & I sincerely hope nobody was behind me the entire time hearing me.

When I finished, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I ran into the house & practically threw my phone at Doug because my Nike+ app told me that it was my fastest pace yet.  My fastest time, even with those damned hills.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be good at running, if I’ll ever have a pace under a 10 minute mile. But I do know that I am going to cross that finish line in May.

Let’s do these hard things that we’re afraid of.

p.s. holy hell, I’m really doing this.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

FiddleDeeAshley February 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm

You’re a rockstar! Before you know it, you’ll be breezing up those hills like they’re your bitch. And, I never expect to run a sub-10 minute mile. Ever. And I’m ok with that. Slow and steady may not win the race, but I’m not in it to win, I’m in it to finish without feeling like death. Keep up the great work!

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tehamy February 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Ashley is totally right. It’s not how fast you go, it’s that you are doing it! Remember, there are going to be days that you don’t want to run. Or days that you just have a shitty run even though you feel ok. That’s totally normal. The important thing is to not give up and get back out there and try again (which is exactly what you did!) Good job! Keep it up and you will cross the finish line in May!

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Tracy @ Liberating Working Moms February 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm

WOOT! I remember those days last spring when I started running. I had lots of curse words in my head. It’s a head game really. Sounds like you’ve got your head in the game! I can’t wait to keep reading about your progress and hear all about you crossing the finish line.

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Kim February 1, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I decided to run a half marathon, like you, I have never considered myself a runner. Last weekend I purpsoefully set my music so the last song was “I cry” by FloRida…very fitting, sometimes it is something simple like that, that can make that last strecth/hill doable….good luck.

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Kelli G February 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I did my first (OK, only) half marathon in November. Like you, I’m an asthmatic & I’ve never been a runner, but I’m married to one. Every time I’d go to one of his races I’d get all inspired because, well, if the person that is older & fatter than me can do it, then why can’t I? So I signed up & I trained & Jesus God was it hard. But on that day I finished all 13.1 miles with a sinus infection & double ear infection. It was slow, it was ugly, but I did it. And it’s one of my proudest moments. Other than, you know, child birth & stuff.

Keep on keepin’ on sister. You’ll rock it out & it’ll be so worth it.

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Amanda Williams February 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Good for you! I am a new runner, I have been running since September and I have completed 2 5ks since then, I am signed up for my 3rd on the 17th. I think the hardest workouts/runs are the ones that make you feel the most amazing once they are complete.

Also, the day of your triathlon I am sure you will have awesome adrenaline going for you and you will probably have an even faster pace that day!

Good luck on your adventure!

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B February 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm

HOT DAMN YOU ROCK. But first, do NOT grade yourself on the hills at work. HOLY HELL. i have ran a lot of places, this is by far the worst. Now that being said, RUN THEM. Let them beat you down and then beat them up. I started running on them for my first 5K too. I remember feeling the same way. Terrible pace. Out of breathe like WHOA. But I got better. THEN when I ran my first non-campus 5K. I KILLED IT. minutes off my time. So know you are starting off training in a tough spot…but use that. It will totally help. Also? I am now running on Fridays at lunch (weather permitting). LETS KICK SOME ASS.

P.S. there is a company 5K in may ;)

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jenn February 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm

way to go! I started running after my second baby because I couldn’t take him to the gym with me for 6 months. The only thing I could do was run. When I first started I couldn’t even run a 1/4 mile. All I kept thinking was THIS SUCKS, I SUCK. I kept at it and the day I ran 3 miles with out stopping was such a milestone. I felt like I completed a marathon. When I face a hill and it looks daunting, I look down at my feet so I can’t see how far I have to go and I just keep repeating to myself “I’m gonna make this hill my bitch.” and I usually do. :)

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Courntey February 1, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I’m so proud of you. Way to go. We all need a little space from training once and a while. I’m on “break” by force right now (injury) and it’s refreshed my love for training and I’m excited to get back. You’ll cross that finish line and it’s going to be awesome!

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Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments February 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm

AMAZING! I need to take a page from your book.

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Suz February 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Great job!

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angela king February 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm

i’m so excited for you! i want to be a runner. someday i will be. you’re inspiring. thanks for sharing your story.

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ashley - the domestic wannabe February 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Way to go! Keeping with it when it is tough, especially in the beginning, is absolutely one of the hardest things to do. When I first did the C25K app, I think nearly every day I complained about how much it sucked. But reminded myself that I didn’t die. I was still standing. So it couldn’t have been that bad, right? Nearly two years and three half marathons later I LOVE running. It is stupid. How can one love running? But I do. You will do amazing at the tri. Keep it up girl.

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Kristin @ What She Said February 1, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Have you considered doing the couch to 5K program? I’ve never done it but I’ve heard good things about it. It might be a less intimidating way to ease into the running since it gives you walk-run intervals that slowly increase to all running.

Good luck on your training!

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christa February 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm

You rock!!

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Helen February 1, 2013 at 10:56 pm

You are an inspiration to many.

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Ruthanne February 2, 2013 at 7:23 am

I’m SO proud of you and FOR you! You can do it! #happytears

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Tottums February 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Dude, you’ve got me beat – I can’t STAND running. As in, I would rather spend 4 hours on an eliptical instead of 20 minutes running {even on a treadmill}. You’re a rock star, keep it up!

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Sara February 2, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Awesome job my friend! You CAN do this. I’m proud of you–and jealous that you are out there. Damn boot.

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The Many Thoughts of a Reader February 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I always feel so good after I run but the pre run psyche out keeps me from even beginning a lot of the times!

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Jacklyn February 3, 2013 at 11:32 pm

I did my first full marathon when I was 22. It was a fund raiser for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. I was inspired to do SOMETHING for a close friend battling AML. It was an overall amazing experience and made a runner out of me. There were times I really didn’t think I could do it. Keep at it!! If for nothing else, it is pretty awesome to have people cheer (really loudly) for you. Seriously. :)

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kate February 4, 2013 at 11:24 am

you are killing it!

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MeaganMusing February 4, 2013 at 12:02 pm

GO BA! Thank you for sharing the ups and downs. You can do it!

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Amy February 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Woo hoo! So proud of you! I fucking hate running too. But, OMG! It will be so amazing when you finish the race. You are my new hero.

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Smldada February 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm

You can do a triathlon. No question.

I got inspired by a blog writer who was writing about training for and running a marathon. She was coordinating this around working and raising 4 kids, triplets plus one. And I decided that if she could do it, then I should stop making excuses and do something too. So I picked a half marathon. 12 weeks to train and I haven’t run since jr high. And I need to lose some weight, maybe 100 lbs or so. But I believed I could do it.

I didn’t finish first, but I finished. I did, in fact, finish dead last, by an hour, but I finished. I may be the reason there is now a time limit on the race, but I finished. So what if they took down the last mile markers and the finish line before I got there? My time is recorded. I finished. And crossing that finish line is an incredible feeling.

You can totally do this.

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