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Well, I finally did it.  I ran my longest ever!  I set out to do a 7 mile run last Saturday, and I did it!  It was a huge confidence booster.

As, most know I had been having some issues.  I think it started out physically and some of it became mental.  I have figured out how to manage it now.  I am running in the Hoka One Stinson shoe, and using the green SuperFeet inserts.  Those inserts are a miracle, I swear.  I was pounding on the instep at the bottom of my foot and it was so painful to put any pressure on them.  My doctor recommended I use these, and a few runners mentioned how well they worked for them.  I have to agree.  They have helped tremendously.  Also, I started yoga and using Jeff Galloway’s method of running 4 minutes and walking 1 minute ratio.  This also, has helped me.  I don’t feel as much pressure on myself mentally, and I take one mile at a time.  I am not so exhausted that I mentally freak myself out about running a long distance.  I can do it.  I know I can with that ratio.  So, I am working on my endurance, and moving forward.

Also, something had happened to me mentally.  I was beginning to feel judgement.  I found myself not sharing my concerns, or achievements anymore.  I began feeling shamed.  Whether it was real or just my perception it began to affect me.  I realized this when I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen since I signed up for the half marathon.  She said something that stuck.  She noticed I wasn’t talking as excitedly and that I seemed to lose the love I had been feeling the last time I saw her.  I had to agree.  I began to feel my little achievements weren’t noteworthy enough to mention anymore.  But, that is not because they weren’t!  They are!  I am pretty good about not letting others define me, but I do take the bait sometimes.  It’s human.  Others might have low self esteem, or extremely high expectations of themselves.  I can’t compete with others.  Maybe running 7 miles is nothing to some, and not noteworthy–except to say, “now you can work on improving your time” or “that isn’t going the distance” implying I need to work harder. It seemed the message was I am not ever working hard enough.  I began to doubt myself.

I need to remind myself, I am NOT going for a record.  I am NOT trying to be an elite athlete.  I want to complete this half marathon within 3 hours.  That IS a DOABLE goal.  And it is MY goal.  I am not running anyone’s else’s race.  It’s a little under a 14 minute pace. I completed my first long run in just over 14 minute mile pace, which in Jeff Galloway’s book, he says the training long run should be a tad slower than the pace you want.  That was my first long run.  How can I not improve?  I am trying to build my endurance and lengthen the time I can run.  If I am consistent I think the pace is an obtainable goal.

I have started running on my own for just a few weeks.  I wanted to work out my issues on my own, and fix them.  I am determined to find solutions and I do want to complete this goal.  I am dedicated.  I have a full time job, and a pre-school aged child I take care of.  And with all that, I have managed every week to do something toward my goal.  I may not be running myself into the ground with training, but, I have managed to run between 2-4 times a week (depending on the week and body ailments) and now yoga once a week with the elliptical sprinkled in.  

I am happy to say I feel more positive again, and believe I can do this.  I know its getting down to about 12 weeks before the race, so I am focusing on getting my long run in and increasing it.

Something else I am excited about is- I signed up to be a running buddy for “Girls on the Run.”  It’s an organization that teaches self empowerment, confidence, and self esteem through running.  I am running with a little girl in a 5K next weekend.  It’s their grand finale in the 10 week program.  I am so glad I get to do this.  It’s very important to me to always help girls grow up to be strong, independent, self confident women.  Anytime I can support a cause that helps women and children I am thrilled to be a part of it.  It makes me feel good!  So, I need this just as much as they do.  It will help me remember I can fulfill my goals, and maybe I will inspire someone else along the way when they need it.  We all need each other at the end of the day. xoxo