Sunday Reflection: Testing Limits

[Running buddies, pre-race]

I ran a half marathon this morning.

Some people can run 13.1 miles in their sleep.

I am not one of those people.

I had to train for it, and it’s the farthest I’ve ever run.

[The gear]

I wasn’t a runner in high school, though I knew I didn’t hate running as much as most people. I would run a little to stay in shape, and in college I pushed myself a little harder to see what I was capable of.

Still, 3 miles was a good distance for me, and 5 miles was pretty far.

When I started training for this half marathon, my first 8-mile run was torture. I started to doubt whether I could do this. But I pressed on, and was amazed when my body completed a 10-mile run and didn’t fall apart.

[Starting line, Heart and Sole Half Marathon, Boulder, CO]

It’s truly incredible what the human body can do, but I have to say that it’s equally incredible when a person decides that the limits they’re familiar with don’t have to be their limits anymore. I’ve been meeting more and more runners who never got off the couch until just a year ago, and now they’re running marathons.

I think that’s why running has intrigued me and become so fun, even though it tortures me at times (I felt pretty terrible when I crossed the finish line this morning).

It’s not necessarily the breathlessness, endless repetitions of one foot forward, then another, and the fatigue that follows that’s addicting. It’s the empowerment that comes with taking a goal into your hands, and taking ownership of the strength that you’ve had access to all along, but talked yourself out of exploring and developing.

It’s the ability to join the ranks of those who you’ve only ever admired and gazed at from a distance. It’s the chance to be in the middle of something challenging and scary … and realize you’re surviving. Maybe even thriving.

[Post-race with my awesome running partner, Lisa]

I think for most people, the barriers to their goals are not rational. “I can’t run that far,” some have told me. “Why? Is your leg broken?” Usually, no. They just can’t envision that future. That’s for “other people.”

“I can’t become a writer/actor/athlete/artist.”

“Why? What scientific evidence do you have that it’s impossible for you?”

Yes, human beings have limitations. But our limits are often not as big and numerous as we assume they are.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m hoping to do a full marathon in January. I’ve been told that should be pretty painful, but it’s hard not to wonder if I can do it!

How about you? Any goals you’ve thought about going for, but talked yourself out of attempting?

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  1. Good job on the marathon! I feel like I set goals for myself all the time to start running but never actually do it! haha I hate it so much.I just got a new personal trainer and I told her the one requirement I have is i hate running. 😉


  2. Way to go sis! I'm one of those people that "can't run that far" haha. But Steve told me that the name "marathon" comes from the legend of the Greek messenger that ran from Marathon to Athens and then collapsed and died after he delivered his message. Therefore, I believe that I would die if I ran a marathon. haha…
    But seriously, I'm proud of you!

    1. Hey thanks sista:-) You've done some running! You could totally do it! And I did not know that tidbit about the name "marathon," but that's so interesting. Contrary to the legend, however, I do not think you'd die if you ran a marathon:-P But maybe you should begin with a 5k:-) -M

  3. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You should be so proud! I have never been a runner! I seriously have so much respect for all those who set their minds to it and accomplish such an amazing and difficult goal. You have my double high five! Way to go!!

    1. Ahhhh Rachel it makes me so happy to hear you say that!! I really really hope that you try out some longer distances to push yourself! And let me know when you start training so I can cheer you on!! -M