When my fiancé, Jesse, said he was going to train for a half marathon and asked if I wanted to do it too, I laughed in his face. I had done one 5k during college but a half marathon … That was CRAZY! Unimaginable, really.
But he and two of his friends did it! And I stood on the sidelines of the 2013 Abbotsford Run for Water half cheering them on while freezing my ass off in the rain. I realized then that normal, everyday people can run half marathons (with training, of course) and decided that I wanted to do one too.
I registered for the Surrey International Music Marathon and four months later I ran my first half with Jesse. Near the end of my training I had decided that I wanted to do a marathon because … if not now, then when? It was a CRAZY idea but I had once thought that a half was impossible. I made a deal with myself that I would register for the BMO Vancouver Marathon if I completed the half.
Two of my friends surprised me at the finish line along with my parents. CRAZY must be contagious because those friends immediately decided that they too wanted to run a half marathon. A few months later the four of us ran the Vancouver Historic Half together.
I succeeded in convincing one of those friends to register for the marathon with me. Many thought we were CRAZY to undertake this challenge (including ourselves). “A marathon is how far??” they would ask, sometimes concerned. “What about your knees??”
Well, we did it! And it was so awesome, we’re doing it again! No big deal. *winky face*
I’ve since started trail running and let me tell you, trail runners are CRAZY! Like certifiably insane. After hearing them talk about 50 mile, 100k, 100 mile, and multi-day stage races … a measly 50k didn’t seem that absurd.
Now here I am, only two months until my second half marathon and five-and-a-half months until the Squamish 50k, which is sure to be my greatest challenge yet. It still seems super CRAZY to me … but hopefully one day it won’t seem so impossible anymore!
My advice to any new runners is to set your goals high and to not get discouraged. Find the “fun” in running, whether that means running with groups or by yourself, in the forest or on roads, listening to music or admiring the sunrise. If you view it as a chore, it will feel like a chore. If you view it as social time, “me time”, or time to unwind, you might find you actually look forward to it!
And most of all … don’t forget to embrace the CRAZY! Whoever wanted to be “normal” anyway?