I’ve signed up for my first half marathon.
Oh yes, I have. I cannot even run a mile without stopping to walk and I’ve signed for 13.1 of those huffy-puffy miles to raise money for charity.
I have until January 2013 to get my shizzah together and my times down. Let me tell you- I didn’t measure or track my “progress” during my first month of running. In my first month without a goal or destination in mind, I really just wanted to experiment to see if I could make a healthy habit stick. The point was to make it as painless and mainly, as consistent as possible- I didn’t want to feel craptastic about tracking, knowing that I was starting from nowhere and would most likely be sad at the numbers.
Truly, I knew that if I knew how bad I was that first month, I probably would have given up. When you’re all successful and can run a 9 minute mile or finish a marathon, it’s awesome to say “Ya, I used to not be able to do a mile in 16 minutes,” but when you’re not even sure if you’ll get that far, seeing how bad you suck on paper is more demotivational for me than a place to start. My ego was frail a month ago, but I’m ready now to get my arse handed to me.
So, what’s with this? Why would I sign up for such a crazy big goal? Truth is, I’m scared.
I’m so scared that I would quit running and fail at getting in shape that I signed myself up for an even bigger (potential) failure. Oh yes, up that damn ante.
After a month of running, I needed a purpose. I needed a true, soul-stirring purpose to continue to do what’s incredibly hard for me.
Truth be told, nothing excites me more than philanthropy. If you’ve read my blog more than five minutes, chances are I’ve hit you up for donations for Love Drop, pug rescue, or charity: water. If you’re a Frugal Beautiful reader or a “real-life” friend there are two things you can count on with me- giveaways and fundraisers. Sorry, but it’s what I’m about! I was worried that my motivation to run would wane and I would get busy and give up. If I’m going to pair a big run with a big give, that surely will motivate me.
So, I signed up for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland for January 20th, 2013 to fundraise at least $500 for The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention. See my personal run page here.
I’ve officially started tracking my runs with the Nike iPhone app- I ran three miles with an average mile time of 13:30 minutes. Today I ran 4 miles with an average mile time of about 12 minutes. My goal is to run 5 days a week (taking Friday & Saturday off) with 4 miles at a time.
Here’s the deal- I can’t run an entire mile, all I can do is run about a block, then walk two blocks, then run a bit, and walk some more. My final mile on today’s 4 mile run was all walking….and you know? I don’t care. I am still damn impressed with myself even if I know I’m sure as hell going to feel it in the morning.
So, here’s what I’ve learned about myself since I started running:
- Get comfortable with failure. I “tried” getting healthy several times and gave up before I got serious.
- Find what motivates you- for me, it took the opportunity to fundraise for a special charity & an adorable medal (have you SEEN THESE?) to get my butt moving.
- Having cute running clothes in obnoxiously bright colors makes me happy. I’m fighting the impulse to buy Tinkerbell green running clothes. I may not win this battle.
- If you keep walking after you’ve pooped out from running, eventually you’ll be able to run more and run longer. Don’t give up the first time you get tired.
I chose to run for the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention for a very personal reason that I probably won’t go into on this blog. A very special family in my life is still going through the grieving process, so I won’t name names here- but they are my inspiration to keep running.
After months of tears & prayers, when I got the opportunity to raise awareness & funds for this cause it felt right. If we can remove the stigma and silence that surrounds suicide, if we can come together to talk about these issues & hopefully create better services and resources to aid individuals and families, even $500 at a time, I’m going to try.