Last Saturday I ran a half marathon. For the second time this year. If you had told me I would do this ten years ago when picked up running as a very casual hobby (5K here, 8K there, that 10K everyone in my city does), I would have looked you dead in the eye and said “nope, no way, not me.” Because, thirteen miles. Thirteen. Miles. The first time I ran that 10K, I thought that the six-mile training runs might actually kill me. Six mile runs are the light end of the training for a half marathon. I’ve now actually heard myself utter the crazy words: “just six miles today.” Just. Six. Miles.
You’re probably wondering what happened. What switch flipped that made me sign up for that first half marathon at the beginning of the year? You know what, I sort of wonder that too. The quick answer, and a lot of the actual reason, is because it’s something that my husband and I do together and I like the idea of training with him. Of shared experience. And goals that stretch us. But I also think it’s a little bit because for years it was something I wrote off as “too hard” and “out of my league.” So signing up was like some sort of internal reverse psychology– I’ve told myself I can’t do this, so let’s just go ahead and do it. Because I can. It was never that I physically couldn’t, but that I wouldn’t. And so in that sense running has become that thing that reminds me nearly everyday that so much of life is about the perspective we choose to bring to it. About choosing “I can” and “I will”, over “I never.”
So will I run a marathon next? I have no plans to and no particular interest in it at this time. But you know what? I could.