The point is, I spent a good portion of my adult life wanting to run but every time I got the urge to run, I quickly squashed that idea with an assumption that I couldn’t run. While my desire to run never went away, with time, my assumption that it was something I couldn’t do started to fade away. A little over a year ago I realized I wasn’t ready to give up on my dream of running a marathon.
It was time to give running another go, but this time I didn’t want to fail. I knew from past experience that lacing up the closest thing to running shoes I currently had on hand (usually a beat up pair of Adidas) and heading out the door with some half-ass plan of eventually being able to run 26.2 miles just wasn’t going to work. I needed a solid plan. I need structure. I needed to stay injury free. So before I went on my first run this spring I made sure I had:
- New, but broken in, running shoes. Because I know my body has a predisposition for knee pain, I opted for well-reviewed motion control shoes.
- A training plan.
- A goal: Chicago Marathon 2015.
I’ve spent a lot of time wishing I was a runner and truth be told, even after I finished up the eight week training plan, I felt more like a person who could run rather than a runner. It wasn’t until I went for a run during crafting weekend because I couldn’t imagine going four days without running that I realized, hey, look at that: I’m a runner. And like that my dream of running a marathon turned into a goal.
I credit my success this go around in large part to my advance preparations. I’m also still reaping the rewards from the lessons I learned from reading The Willpower Instinct.
This past Saturday, I ran six miles without stopping. SIX miles. Running anything more than a 5K seemed downright impossible just three months ago. I’m not speedy by any stretch of the imagination, but I am out there. I am doing this thing.
Now I wonder if my goal of running the Chicago Marathon in 2015 was too modest. In truth, I think I’ll be ready to run a decent distance long before October 2015 and so I’ve been working towards an alternative (albeit somewhat smaller goal) of running a local half marathon next May.
As corny as this will sound, you really can make a habit of doing the impossible. Whatever your goal is, whether it’s running a marathon, writing a novel, paying off your student debt, or whatever, you can get there with a plan, a will, and a large dose of consistency.