I'm approaching my second half marathon. Oddly enough, people seem puzzled by the fact that I would sign up for another one. =) I find myself uttering words I never thought I would: "It's just a half."
Believe me, I know I've come a long way, and been through many stages. From the girl who "doesn't run," to the girl who just ran "because you can get your whole workout in with a sports bra and pair of shoes," to the girl who says, "I JUST ran 4 today," to the girl am I today. The girl who is anxiously awaiting her second half marathon: ever-evolving, ever-changing. The one constant is the fight that I have with running.
Please don't get me wrong. There is a moment after mile 2 where it stops being laborious and starts clearing out my head and feeling like the most natural thing in the world. I do some of my best thinking on long runs. However, it's a struggle. My first fight starts with just getting out there. There WILL ALWAYS be a reason to skip a run. I'm tired, I'm hungry, it's windy, cold or hot, or it's raining are a few of my favorites, not to mention the fact that I'd rather sleep in the mornings.
Then there's the fight within myself. I want to stop at every step before mile two, and I fight my inner voices that say it's okay to stop. They say that most people don't get off the couch. They say that no one will know if I don't run the whole way. I fight those voices with the thoughts that I'm strong, and I'LL know if I don't run the whole way. My legs can take me 13.1 miles, and I know that my body will do what I ask it to.
On race day this Sunday, I'll fight more voices. The ones that ask if I trained hard enough. The ones that know I could have done more. The ones that are scared of getting hurt or feeling sick while running. I'll fight race day nerves, I'll fight the actual course and conditions on race day, I'll fight the crowd.
But the joy of it all will come at the finish line at Memorial Stadium, when I have the privilege of knowing that I got up that day and fought the fight. And no matter what happens, I'll win.