Since the moment I said “yes” to half marathon training, I’ve had more than my share of setbacks. Despite that, the thought of quitting never crossed my mind. When I set a goal, nothing can stop me from achieving it. Maybe it’s my stubbornness with a little bit of motivation mixed in, but either way, I’m here to say that when there are a million reasons to give up, you just have to hang on to that one reason why you started.
When I decided that I was going to run a half marathon, I began training for the Norfolk Harbor Half which is at the end of November and would give me plenty of time to work up to the intimidating 13.1 miles. I had already been training for a few weeks when I found out that I wouldn’t be able to take the day off from work to run. This meant I wouldn’t be able to run with the group of people I had been training with and I was crushed. I called my running coach on the brink of tears because it felt like my goal had just gotten ripped away from me. I explained my dilemma and we tried to come up with a back up plan but the only other local option was the Crawlin Crab on October 7.
My coach gave me his honest opinion and said he was worried I wouldn’t have enough time to properly train for this race. However, we realized it was my only option and I convinced him to crank up my training plan to help me get ready. All of a sudden I had a lot more miles to run in a much shorter amount of time. I lost about 5 weeks of valuable training time by switching races, but I was just happy to have a new plan in place. Nothing was going to hold me back from doing this.
Well, nothing except for another unapproved vacation day for the new race date. I couldn’t believe it. Once again, I was devastated. I didn’t even have the heart to tell my running coach right away after he had just spent time creating a new training plan for me. I begged my boss to let me have the morning off and told him I would do anything to be able to run this race. The only way he was able to work this into the schedule was if I worked a double shift the day before my race which would mean running 13.1 miles on about 3 or 4 hours of sleep. SOLD! I told him I would do it.
When I finally had a race in mind and the time off from work, I thought my luck had finally turned around. Of course, life doesn’t always make things easy for us and I ended up facing another obstacle. All the running I had been doing resulted in an injury, a runner’s worst nightmare. It wasn’t a major injury luckily, but it was bad enough that I was ordered to stop running for at least 2 weeks while I worked with a physical therapist. The injury was also partially a result of some chemotherapy side effects which was so frustrating to me. Taking an additional 2 weeks off from running would now put me 7 weeks behind in my initial training plan, but because this setback was partially a result of cancer, it only made me more motivated than ever to continue working toward my goal.
Since being cleared to run again, I’ve ran in the heat, rain, at night (safely of course), and on a treadmill to get my miles in. I’ve ran when I’m exhausted and just wanted to sleep. I’ve ran when I’m incredibly busy and didn’t think I had the time. You name it, I’ve worked through it and now I’m finally just hours away from the race I have been looking forward to for about 2 months now. Of course the situation is far from ideal, but when you have enough motivation, nothing is impossible. If you want it bad enough, you WILL find a way.