Staying the Course

I set a new goal for myself this year…I’m almost afraid to say it out loud as only my closest friends know and I don’t want to feel embarrassed if I fall short. Also the more I speak about it, the more real it becomes but it is real and it is coming soon. Deep breath…I am running a marathon in Istanbul, Turkey in November…whew!

I have all sorts of reasons why I am doing this: I once said to a close friend and to myself that I will run a marathon before I’m 40, I want a new physical challenge, I want a new mental challenge, the idea of running from Europe to Asia in Istanbul seems cool to me…I could go on. The fact is, I am not a runner and running isn’t something that I am particularly passionate about so the idea of committing myself to something this big that is extracurricular and that I don’t have a strong interest in might seem counterproductive but this is what is what makes it so intriguing to me. For me, this challenge presents an opportunity to grow by stretching me outside of my comfort zone while I remain physically active and potentially develop a new interest.

I began training lightly at the beginning of this year and built up a pretty good speed and distance in the few months since I started but then I stopped. I ran solely on the treadmill at the gym at work during my lunch hour so that I wouldn’t impact my family time. At my peak I was running 10k in just under an hour, two to three times per week. I was proud of the progress that I had made but then I started to develop soreness in my knees which I attributed to the fact that I was running on a treadmill too much and I had stopped strength training and conditioning to keep my muscles strong. I took what was intended to be a short break from running to focus on strength training and conditioning and let the soreness subside but that short break has lasted nearly two months. I let my excuses creep in and started to lose motivation but it’s time for me to get back on track and I will be restarting my training this weekend with a 5k fun run.

I have a few short-ish runs booked leading up to the marathon to keep me motivated but I really need to ramp up my training if I intend to finish this marathon in one piece. I will finish what I started and I know that the next few months will be rough but I will be better for it.

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