Today was a day when I was reminded that there are PLENTY of goals still left to achieve. It was also a day when I was reminded just how lucky I am to have such an amazing group of fitness friends.
So many positive, motivational, and inspirational people have come into my life since I started on this journey. Two of these people are Kara and her boyfriend Serg. Kara and I met when she was a brand new Flywheel instructor back in May. I took her class on a whim, and immediately knew that she was something special. Over the last few months, Kara has become a very good friend of mine, and a constant source of inspiration- and I have become her self proclaimed biggest fan. Serg is one of the most positive, and enthusiastic people I have met. As of last week, he too is a Flywheel instructor, and although I have not taken his class yet… I know he is going to be amazing.
This morning, Kara and Serg were running their 18 mile “tune up” run for the NYC Marathon. I could not have been more excited when Kara asked me to join them for the last 4 miles. As I waited for them to meet me at mile 14, I got to watch many different types of runners go by, and it was motivational to say the least. There were people who looked like they could keep going all day and that was amazing, but even more amazing were the people who looked like they were struggling, but they just kept going anyway. I tried to keep those people in my mind as I thought about the intense hills that were ahead.
It put a huge smile on my face when I saw Kara and Serg rounding the corner, waving their arms to get my attention. I jumped in with them and figured something out very quickly- they were running FAST. I mean, under and 8 minute mile fast, and it was hard to keep up. But for three miles, and a tough hill I did keep up with them and it felt amazing. Then the fourth mile hit me like a brick wall. I felt like I had just run ten miles instead of three, which Kara assured me was purely because of the pace. That didn’t take away the frustration though- when I had to let them go ahead so that I could walk for a few minutes. It had been a long time since I had to stop running and walk, and it immediately pulled me back to the girl I used to be, as I was walking I thought about this…
On my very first run back in February, I could not run one city block- or about .05 miles- without getting so out of breath that I had to take a break. It was a scary realization of what I had done to my body. But I made a choice back then, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and you know what? Soon I was able to run three blocks without walking, and then ten, and then thirty. And this simple act of putting one foot in front of the other helped me change my life.
So, as I was walking and thinking about this- with many runners on their third loop around the park running past me- I decided I needed to do something to come out of this day feeling strong and accomplished. So, I walked back to the place I started walking, and ran the last mile. These are the types of choices I know I am going to have to continue to make on a daily basis, because I know just how important it is for me to feel that I finished what I started. Nothing is more frustrating to me than letting myself down. Was my run perfect today- not by any means. But I feel proud of myself, and that is more than enough.
When I got to the end of the last mile, Kara and Serg were waiting for me with huge smiles on their faces and a flood of encouraging words. And Kara reminded me that I did just run 4 miles- 3 of which were under an 8 minute pace, uphill. In saying this she reminded me of something: That these are the reasons I made the choice to change my life. I lost some people along the way because they were very negative and not at all supportive of the goals I set for myself. But those losses have turned into the most incredible gains. Having people like Kara and Serg as motivators and friends has made all of this so worthwhile. Its been truly unbelievable to me, just how much surrounding yourself with positive people can impact your life.
At the end of my run today I set a mental goal for myself- by the end of the year I want to be able to run the 6 Mile loop of central park at an 8 minute mile, without stopping. I think it is very possible, and I LOVE having new goals to achieve. I’ll check in on this one regularly, and I cannot wait until the day when I get to write the post about meeting this goal!
I hope everyone has a great week!