Leap of Faith

I registered for the Twin Lights Half Marathon last week.  I know the route.  It begins at Good Harbor Beach and follows along route 127A right through downtown Rockport to Phillip’s Ave., looping there and returning along the same route, ending back at Good Harbor.  I run much of this route almost every day.  And I have run longer than 13.1 miles many times.  Yet, since the moment I started to fill out the application online, I have felt the flutter of butterflies in my stomach.  Well, maybe not butterflies, maybe more like the pounding of elephants charging through the jungle as they are chased by a pride of lions.  Each tap of each key of my computer laid the foundation for this unlikely terror.  When I listed my emergency contacts, it was the cement between the bricks.  By the time I typed in my credit card number, I was shaking.  I was also grinning, so don’t worry too much about me although…

I am filled with doubt.  Every twinge of a muscle reminds me that I am 47 years old.  Every ache seems it might be the start of something much worse.  I wonder how many runners will be there.  I wonder if the weather will be just so—cool, dry, filtered sunlight, precisely the way I like it.  Will all my winter training pay off?  Will all those miles logged in freezing rain and snow, in motion-stopping, icy ocean winds and bitter cold darkness give me the strength I need to finish strong?  Or will I have exhausted my middle-aged self, collapsing before I reach the finish line, straggling in like either a baby or an old woman, aching, sobbing, or, worse yet, picked up by EMTs and driven through an ogling crowd?

I know.  This does not sound like me at all.  I, mighty runner of many miles, woman who can finally do pull-ups and hold plank for more minutes than I’m willing to admit, crazy weight lifter and relentless personal trainer, am never in doubt of my abilities.  I jump into everything with both feet, never looking back (or ahead!).  I have only ever participated in one race, and it was just a 10K.  Piece of cake.  I experienced no pre-race jitters and ran the whole thing like it was any other day, except for the excitement of being surrounded by dozens of other runners.  I loved it!  I even came in first in my age category.  (Oops.  Is that a humble brag?  Nope. It’s a real one!)

Any other day, it’s one foot in front of the other.  That’s pretty much how I run.  Some days rock!  The legs, the lungs, the mind—they all meld into one and I go and go and go, surprised that an hour or two have passed and I’m already strolling through my front door.  I’m sweaty, happy and standing on top of the world.  On the not so good days, I still manage to run at least six miles, even if I’m slower than usual, a little winded on the sprints, or caught up in untangling a clingy worry.  So here I am, writing this, clearly with the sole purpose of giving myself a pep talk.  Here we go:

The race isn’t until May.  There’s plenty of time to rest, cut back on the miles, the weights, and even get in a little cross-training and rest.  Hmm.  I have time to work on speed drills, with or without my running partner, depending on her mood and availability.  I bet I can talk my hubby into coming to the high school track with the stop watch for a few mile repeats.  I can take one long run each week, even run the entire course a few times, just to let my body know what’s coming.  I can eat more, maybe gain a couple of pounds. Fries?  Cookies?  Coconut-milk ice cream?  (It’s not going to happen with leafy greens, that’s been proven…)  I can back off for a couple of weeks before the event, letting my body absorb the training and some extra rest, just to be sure.  Make the leap.  I know I can do it, and do it they way I envision it for me.

I have been writing fitness rules for more than a year, encouraging my readers and clients to adopt them into their fitness plans.   I want them to incorporate my fitness rules into their visions for how they can change their lives by making a few simple changes in attitude and behavior.   I think it’s time to write one for me.

Fitness Rule #18:  Take a leap of faith.  It’s the only way to uncover the truth of what I am capable of  in my life right now.

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7 Comments on “Leap of Faith”

  1. Sharon Says:

    You, my friend, are more than ready to run a half marathon! You are well-prepared and could easily run this route–especially one that you are so familiar with.

    Three cheers for you for taking a leap of faith!!


  2. Thank you, Sharon! Still a little nervous, but actually feeling better after I wrote this piece! Thanks for being such a faithful reader!

  3. Craig Says:

    Go girl, go.
    Though I find hard to picture you holding back on the workouts and gaining a few pounds.
    🙂

    Didn’t you write an earlier blog post with the same title?


  4. Elizabeth,

    Doubt is so natural! We all have it. I think part of why we do what we do is that it’s a little scary. If we knew we could do it, that would rob us of the feeling of accomplishment that we get when we complete the task or reach the goal.

    Embrace the feeling of scaring yourself! Embrace the opportunity that you have to “get yourself back into the game”.

    Every step forward I have made in my physical activity has been preceded or accompanied by some sort of fall from grace. Later on I looked back and knew that what I was going through was something I needed to do in order to get where I am today.

    Love yourself and trust your indomitable spirit far more than your body. Our bodies are just a collection of tissues that can become weak or strong depending on how we direct them. You mind is your strength. Trust in that.

    Keep running and keep writing! Thanks for reading my blog and commenting. I really appreciate your support.

    Paul


    • Paul,

      Thanks for your kind words. You are so right about doubt being natural, and especially about the steps forward following falls from grace. That seems to translate across the board in life. It’s all about learning lessons. I am grateful for that awareness.

      I am preparing for the Twin Lights HM by increasing mileage a bit, making the long run day a little longer, and adding in a little speed work and extra strength training. I’m tired though! Being a wife, mom, personal trainer and household manager is exhausting while in training. One of the things I am constantly working on is balance. I guess this is a great opportunity to work on that!

      Thanks for reading. And for the support. I love reading your blogs, too. Isn’t running and writing wonderful?

      Elizabeth


      • Good luck with your training and increasing your long runs gradually as you go. I have no frame of reference for what it’s like to have all of the roles you have AND be training, but I can imagine it’s that much more taxing.

        I couldn’t agree more about how running and writing are wonderful–they compliment each other so well!

        I enjoy reading your blog as well and look forward to reading your next post as you get closer to your goal race.

        Paul

  5. health Says:

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and I’d like to say that I have actually enjoyed reading your posts. I’ll be subscribing to your feed anyway and I hope you’ll post again soon. Big thanks for the helpful information.


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