June 3, 2013 by Caroline Dobbins
126 days…. 18 weeks… 4.5 months. Those numbers on their own mean very little. Time passes and we may find ourselves mindlessly traveling through life without goals, without a vision or without a dream, but we should challenge ourselves to give our minutes, hours, days and months.
I like having a challenge. Something about setting a goal, doing what it takes to complete that goal, pushing through the hardest days and enjoying the best days gives me the satisfaction of a job well done. I can’t imagine that someone would say that they didn’t enjoy accomplishing something they worked tirelessly for. 3,024 hours, 126 days, 18 weeks or 4.5 months from now I will complete a challenge…The Chicago Marathon.
Yesterday, I transferred my entire training schedule into my calendar and instantly my stomach was in knots. Am I ready to dedicate the time it takes to properly train for a marathon? Am I tough enough, mentally to survive 18 weeks of training through the good days and the bad days. In the back of my mind I know that the answer is YES, I’ve run a marathon before. I know I can complete 26.2 miles without falling over, seriously injuring myself or shedding a tear, but for some reason it still feels like a daunting task.
What I know will get me through this challenge is my family, the support of my friends, the knowledge that if I take one mental health day away from my running shoes it won’t be the end of the world but most of all, remembering what it feels like to cross the finish line after 26.2 long, tiring miles. It’s a feeling that is different for everyone but for me it is one of pride, of accomplishment and self-reflection. Running is a time for me to reflect on what makes me tick, what’s most important to me and why I lace up my shoes and hit the pavement.
I know not everyone wants to run a marathon, but my attempt at sharing some ‘wisdom’ (I’m 23, how much wisdom can I really offer) is find what YOUR marathon is. Something that you’ll have to work towards each and every day, something that seems so daunting but that you know will bring you the most joy when you finally accomplish it. It might take you longer than 18 weeks but that’s not what matters, what matters is that you are doing it for you and no one else.