About this time last year, I quit my training for my first marathon, the CIM Sacramento Marathon in December. Several things derailed me from my long-held goal. We were stranded in last year’s historical flooding in South Carolina, so I was unable to run the long distances required for a couple of weeks while on vacation. I knew I couldn’t catch up. So I quit. In January, I re-evaluated my goal, my plan and my motivation. Was it even possible for me to run her first marathon? Yes. Was it probable? That is under my control. So, I found a running club in early February of this year and began to think and talk about the December marathon (CIM has a deferral plan which made it a cheaper to roll over last year’s registration to this year.)
Last year, I tried to go it alone. This year, I joined a very supportive Lew’s Walk’n Run, a running group of like-minded, mostly mid-life walk/run members. Lew and Bertha (both have done many marathons) gave me a very reasonable plan for many months. I have followed the plan, especially the long weekend runs. This past week-end I ran the farthest I have ever run–21 miles! Slow, steady and I felt pretty good afterwards. Several of the group ran various legs with me on this run, as well as having a aid/refreshment station along the route.
A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine found a great deal for a Panama Canal cruise for mid November. I was very tempted but declined, very difficult because we all love to travel together. I’d have missed two week of my training runs, plus eaten and drank more than I should during this time. I was very disappointed, but I said no. Interestingly, by saying no it strengthened my resolve to achieve my goal, especially when I realized I’m getting close to the race. It’s just about 6 weeks away.
I learned 3 important things about myself. Working towards any goal is far more likely to be successful if I surround myself with like-minded people; I have a reasonable plan to follow; and do my best to minimize obstacles along the way. And in the immortal words of the Beatles, “I get by with a little help from my friends!” Don’t we all?