Numbers have meanings.
I ran my first half marathon this past May, the Mystic Half. I decided back in December that I was going to do this. As I hit the “agree” button on my computer, and signed my life away, my stomach instantly turned into knots, what in the world was I getting myself into!
I found a plan, was introduced to a wonderful group of women runners who were very supportive and inspirational and started training in January. Happy New Year here I come! Yes, I am that person who made a New Year’s resolution and I apologize.
January and February went smoothly, building my mileage with each run, and then March struck. I pulled my hamstring and, again, if you know me, I am no Gumby. I am more like the Tin Man when it comes to flexibility. Eight to nine weeks of recovery, stretching, rolling, baby steps, crying, and the feeling of disappointment; everything that I worked so hard for, down the drain, at least that was my mental state.
May arrived very quickly. There were only 21 days until the race, how was I ever going be ready to run 13.1 miles? I was not done training. I set out to run 10 miles to test the hamstring out like test-driving a car to see how it felt, only I couldn’t trade in my legs, so I was hoping for a positive outcome. I was ecstatic when the pain was manageable! I rested the remainder of the week, stretched, and drank enough water to fill what felt like Lake Superior (yeah, I Googled this and it is the biggest lake in the US!) I felt ready; at least that was what I kept telling myself.
Race day arrived and my alarm went off at 4:30 AM. It was time to fuel, prep and make it happen. I arrived and the knots that were in my stomach in December somehow found their way back to me at the starting line. Once I started running, those knots soon disappeared. The runners around me were the most humble people, encouraging every other racer along the way.
2:12:21 – the time that I finished my first half. I did play the lottery, or at least bought a scratch ticket after seeing those numbers, who wouldn’t! When I crossed that finish line, every emotion I was feeling came to a head.
I also walked pretty funny, but I was not the only one, so thank goodness that was normal. Never did I imagine that I could ever run a half.
So…I signed up for my second half marathon, Surf Town, soon after I finished the Mystic Half. I was hooked! That feeling of accomplishment was quite fierce.
September 10th, 2017. I ventured out and ran my second half marathon. All I wanted to do was better my PR (personal record) time, to run it under 2:12:12. But even if I did not accomplish that goal, I just wanted to finish. What was so special about this race, though, was my Dad would be there to cheer me on every step of the way. He would see me finish for the first time.
2:10:36 was my finish time. Not only did I have a new PR for myself, I had a proud father at the finish line, something that was worth way more than a time or medal.
Running has given me more confidence, discipline, and strength. It’s how I relieve stress and anxiety. Running shows me that I am capable of doing anything if I set my mind to it, to dig deeper in those moments that you feel like giving up, and train hard. I run because, well, the truth is, I love to do it and yes, I am crazy, but everyone has a little crazy in them. You just have to find what you are passionate about and never give up. It’s 90% mental and 10% crazy.
Adam Cilley | January 11th, 2018