Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I gave you a heads-up that my brain is swirling with thoughts of the impending doom that is the half marathon I’m going to run on Saturday. Since it’s pretty much all I can think about, it’s pretty much all I’m going to blog about for the next 4 days 🙂
I’m not sure why I’m so nervous for this half marathon. I’ve already done 2, and I did the Fargo Half last year. I know 2 half marathons isn’t an extreme amount, but I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Usually my nerves kick in when I’m about to do something new or unfamiliar. Maybe I’m nervous about the fact that I don’t 100% know how my body is going to respond on race day. I’ve had some training runs that feel amazing, and others where my legs start to get sore about a mile into the run (these days usually correspond to the days I drink less than 60 oz of water beforehand…you’d think I would learn).
Last night was my last long-ish training run before Saturday. I went 7.37 miles, and now tonight and tomorrow I’ll just do 3-4. Yesterday was one of the good runs. It was 60 degrees out, so for the first time all year I was able to run in short sleeves. I had a little bit of foot numbness in my left foot from Mile 2-3 (I have pronation issues if I don’t focus on keeping my foot stable) but otherwise I felt really strong. As I was finishing, I thought to myself that I probably had enough left to do 6 more miles, so I should be ready to go on Saturday. Like I said yesterday, this race is going to be mostly about mental strength so I’m doing what I can to build that up.
I realized something else while I was running yesterday. My aunt is also running the half, and yesterday she told me her goal is to run sub-10 min/miles. That would put her total time at under 2 hours, 10 minutes–at least 5 minutes faster than my goal. I started to feel badly about myself and began to wonder if I could push myself to run that pace. I was considering this while I was running last night, and I realized that I place way too much stock in comparing myself to others. Two days ago I was content with my time goal for the half; now, one comment was making me reconsider that. Why should my aunt’s goal have any impact on my own?
After this became clear, I also realized that running is not the only arena of my life where comparisons run rampant. At my cousin’s wedding this past weekend I found myself thinking, “Ok, the bride is 30. They met 3 years ago, which means I would have just under 2 years to meet my future spouse. That’s not so bad. They seem like a decently young couple.” I’ve done this same calculation with many other couples as well. I think it’s the fear of being the old maid friend that prompts me to do this. I also want to have a family and be a somewhat young mom. These two things lead me to constantly compare my place in life with those around me. Sometimes these comparisons give me hope (like at my cousin’s wedding–2 years is PLENTY of time to meet someone) and other times they stress me out (at my age she was married and had two kids, I’m going to be alone forever!).
I decided last night that I’m done comparing myself. I’m uniquely me. My life will take a different path than everyone around me, and that’s ok. It’s ok if it takes me 2 hours and 20 minutes to run a half marathon. That’s not the fastest pace ever, but I’m still out there doing it. It’s also ok if I’m 25 and still single. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be alone forever. Constantly comparing myself to others is only going to leave me feeling inadequate and stressed out, and probably saddle me with some feelings of jealousy as well. I’m making a commitment to replacing the comparisons with self-love. I think if I’m actually able to do this I will have much better relationships with others and with myself.
Half marathon countdown–3 days, 21 hours, 37 minutes