Well, the unthinkable has happened. I have finished the Couch to 10K running program. I am shocked. I can't believe I made it to the end. When I started it I had a hope in my heart that I would be able to finish and a determination to make it to the end but in my mind I didn't believe I could make it.
One thing I know for sure over the last 10 weeks is that my mind is not made for running. My body on the other hand is keeping up with my running schedule but my mind is running weak. It is holding me back and slowing my progress.
I constantly have to motivate myself and talk myself into running. It makes me mad, it makes me hate myself and makes me feel weak and pathetic. I argue with myself on the treadmill and tell myself to grow up, to suck it up and to put in the training that needs to be done to do this marathon.
I have learned that the thing I love and hate about running is that it shows me just how weak and strong I am at the same time. I know my body has grown stronger for all the km's I am putting in on the treadmill and I am able to run a little faster and longer than when I started. Heck! I can now run 10K without stopping! Incredible!!
But I find it hard to celebrate that fact when I had to mentally and verbally beat myself up just to get there. I hate that I am so weak in my mind. Some days I feel I am being too hard on myself but other days I feel like my mind is going to let me down when it comes to the race day.
I am not in this race to win, I am in this race to better myself. I am not running to be skinny, I am running to be strong. I need more strength in my life and running is helping me achieve that. It is showing me what my mind is really like and it is a shock.
You know, when you feel like you are strong in a certain area and tell yourself you have got this, I have it covered, and then find out you don't. You don't have the mental toughness to get through it and you are disappointed and scared at how negative you can be when it comes down to crunch time. Yeah! That.
I am not having trouble with the pain from running so much any more, I am having trouble with the doubt, the fear and the pressure I place on myself. The doubt that I can do achieve this goal of running a marathon in public and the knowledge that I am not as strong as I thought I was.
Some days when I get on my treadmill I question myself.
Who am I to be trying to achieve such a goal when I should be putting more time and effort into raising my family?
Who am I to be pushing my body to run 10K when I don't have the core strength after having seven kids to make the run?
Who am I to be trying to do this run when my mind, my bladder, my legs, my butt and my whole body is not made for running?
Who am I to dream this goal?
Then I slap myself around and tell myself, Who am I not to?
I ran another 10K on my treadmill this week. Just to make sure I could still do it. I did not run it much faster, I still battled in my mind the whole run but I did feel stronger physically. I try to remember that I really have started doing this from nothing. From no running and from sitting on my blogger butt to now running 10K.
I don't know if I will ever be able to run without doubting myself and without beating myself up. I am more comfortable with the pain and I still think about those who have suffered so much pain with their cherubs and angels and as I think of those women I run a little faster and push myself a little harder.
I am not writing this to get sympathy. I don't want any of that. I am writing this to share that even if you have a goal and think you are weak, you can still push your way through it one tear and one tantrum at a time until you reach your goal. The real weakness is in giving up. I feel weak and pathetic and a total sob story when it comes to running but one thing I won't allow myself to do is give up.