I did it guys! I completed my first 10k!
This may not seem like a big deal to some, but I can’t put into words how much joy I felt crossing that finish line.
Waking up on Saturday morning, I was riddled with nerves. What if I couldn’t finish? What if I was the last person to cross the finish line? What if I didn’t train hard enough?
For every negative thought that I had, I tried to combat it with a positive affirmation. You can do this. You will finish. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you, no one can take that victory away from you. You have worked hard and it is enough.
Earlier last week I started listening to “Let Your Mind Run” by elite runner Deena Kastor. I thought it might be motivating to read a book on running before my race, and it ended up being exactly what I needed. Deena Kastor shares the things that helped her in her training, and she shares her belief that our thoughts have a lot to do with our success.
Before my race, I tried to find mantras that would inspire me to keep running when I got tired. Some of my favorites were:
Run the mile your in
It doesn’t always get worse
This is what you trained for
The body achieves what the mind believes
One thing I didn’t know before I started running? The first couple miles are the hardest! That is why I love the mantra “It doesn’t always get worse”. I’ve noticed that after a couple miles, I begin to hit my stride and the run becomes much easier.
This was my first time running a larger race, and I thrived off the energy that came with it! There were a ton of volunteers to cheer us on and many smiling police officers who helped guide traffic. There was never a point during the race where I felt like I was struggling or that I wouldn’t finish. That alone was a huge win for me!
Don’t get me wrong: I was tired, but I knew I had this in the bag. When I hugged my husband after crossing the finish line, I couldn’t help but cry. I was surprised by how emotional I was, but you have to understand that I never thought I was capable of something like this.
Not only had I always been bad at running growing up, but just 4 years ago I was bedridden due to my Fibromyalgia. There were so many days where I broke down sobbing to my loved ones because I was scared of what my future held. Would I be in this much pain forever? Would I be able to take care of a child someday? Was this bed going to hold me hostage for the rest of my life?
Even as I type this, I find tears streaming down my cheeks. That pain was suffocating and left me drained of hope. As I stood on the other side of the finish line, all of those questions filled my head once more, but this time I had the answer.
No. That would not be my forever. I still have Fibromyaglia and I still have days where I have to deal with horrible pain flairs, but I have even more days when my pain is manageable. My pain used to feel like it was screaming at me and demanding attention, now feels like a very annoying whisper. I can handle that whisper.
As I hugged my husband, I was overcome with thankfulness to God. He heard my cry and has helped me do things that I never would have believed possible. My life is vastly different than it was when I was first diagnosed. I feel strong. I feel hopeful. I feel confident knowing that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to in this life.