Punching Fear in the Face, 1 mile at a time.

The Starting Line is the Only Line You Control

This March when I went to Blissdom, Jon Acuff really got me thinking. And then I had the awesome privilege of volunteering at his START! speaking event here in Austin. He is inspiring.

I’ve run lots of miles, two half-marathons, and raised money along the way, but I’ve never run a marathon. I was always scared to even try because I figured I’d just get hurt (again) and have to stop before I even get to the finish line. The idea of failure before I could even actually fail is pretty dumb. Right? So I took Jon’s words to heart and decided to “punch fear in the face” and START.

I can still hear him saying those words in his awesome inspirational-speaker-who-seems-like-a-regular-cool-guy voice. The starting line is the only line you control. Fear lies. Punch fear in the face and just start.

My friend, and fellow obsessive runner MK, told me about Round Rock Fit, a program she started out running with. Just so happens they also have an Austin group. Bingo. I looked into it and knew it was what I needed.  It wasn’t ridiculous expensive per month, they offer lots of support on your long runs (people, not just water), and most importantly they go out with you on Saturday mornings, they don’t just give you a map and send you on your way. I met Coach Jennifer and I was sold.

Saturday morning I took action and started. I had my first training session with Austin Fit. Just listening to them speak about the program and seeing the coaches (there’s a ton of them!) who were all excited to be there, I knew I picked the right program to help me make my goal a reality.  When I trained for Vancouver Marathon “with” Team in Training, I did all the training on my own. I never drove the 40 minutes to Dallas to train with the team. I did it on my own.  I’m not even sure how I made it through those long runs on my own.  But I can’t do that anymore, and that’s ok.

Dig Deep. You are the only thing between yourself and the end.

The greatest thing is that I’ll have a support group with me.  Yeah, they’ll have water along the way just like all of the other organized groups (I hate carrying water) but I’m in it for the emotional/mental help on those long Saturday runs. Running 6 miles is one thing, running 17 miles alone is quite another. It’ll be awesome to have a coach (or two) and teammates with me along the way. And the accountability that someone will know when I haven’t shown up to train on a long run. I really don’t think I’d be able to do it without a good group alongside me.

The best part of Austin Fit is that they know what they’re doing, your coaches take the time to get to know you so they also know your limitations and that can keep you from getting hurt.  They can also make you “get your ass out of bed and go run” when you need to.

We had our time trials yesterday and I finished 2 miles in 19:00. I’m not sure what that means for my end pace for the actual races, but that’s the difference between running with a group and running alone–you push yourself a bit harder and walk just a little less. Either way, the thought that I’ll be running 13 TIMES that much is still terrifying.

The difference between my Vancouver race and now is I’m ready. I’m taking the supplements to stay healthy, I’m going to yoga to stay stretched and well, I’m going to train properly. I WILL get to the starting line and if I have to walk or hobble, I will cross the finish line with my husband and girls cheering my name.

This is so much  more than a race. It’s knowing I can do it. It’s raising money for cancer patient services. It’s finishing what I started 7 years ago on the one year anniversary of the end of  my mom’s battle with cancer.

I’m ready. It’s a huge endeavor for me but it’s all done one bite at a time, right? Might as well START now.

if you’re interested in finding a USA Fit group in your community, check it out here. ANYONE can get to the starting line. DO IT. for the record, Austin Fit isn’t paying me to write this. I reached out to them in hopes of sharing my journey about training for a marathon.

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5 thoughts on “Punching Fear in the Face, 1 mile at a time.

  1. I am so jealous of your team. Nothing like that exists where I live (hooray Rural America) and I can’t even find a running buddy to hang out with when I’m dying on a long run of doom.

    ENJOY IT FOR ME!

  2. I’m down with the group aspect of training. You’re right — it is far too easy to not be accountable to people unless they see you run the miles, or know that you didn’t show up. Glad you found them!

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