“Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit which fortunately functions independently of logic.” -Tim Noakes
Training for anything in life is a challenge. It is a challenge to get up everyday to pursue your dream. It is a challenge to strap on whatever “uniform” you wear to train even when you are exhausted. It might be a challenge but for those who seek greatness they welcome it with open arms. However, training while traveling proves to be a continuous struggle.
In my life I set a lot of goals for myself. One of my major goals since I’ve gotten into running has been to run a marathon. I’ve done a half and though it wasn’t the time I was hoping I crossed the finish line. I made the goal, I trained my ass off, and I was able to finish. It was such a euphoric feeling. Never in my life had I accomplished something like this. Those 13.1 miles were some of the hardest miles of my life… I would be the type of person to choose an all uphill half as my first ever. Regardless, my favorite part of the entire process was the training. I was in my senior year of college in the height of my training. I would wake up everyday, wear my training gear to class, run straight after class, and go from there. It was magic. I had my set routine and every day seemed to flow perfectly. By the time the half came around I was terrified, but I knew that the amount of work I put into it I would be able to finish. Those 2 hours 44 minutes and 37 seconds were the most rewarding hours of my life. My training paid off. Though it seemed like a full time job and I had to balance going to class, my sorority life, and my training schedule I was pleased with the outcome.
After the half my training seemed to slip. I had a goal and I accomplished it. My heart was full of happiness. I hadn’t had another goal in the running world for quite some time after that. I would run a few miles a week, but nothing substantial. However, after graduation I started running more and putting more emphasis on my training. Starting off slow with a few miles every day until eventually I was running 6 miles up mountain in Maui. I felt so amazing. This is when I set my new running goal. I was going to run a full marathon. 26.2 miles.
When I decided to make this my next goal my dad even decided to jump on that goal with me! It was back on the training wagon and I was so stoked. I was finding my happy place. I wanted to get back on the regimented schedule of waking up, running, and going along with my day. This time my training has been different. After living in Maui I moved yet again to a new place. When I first arrived in Ireland it took me a few weeks to fully get my life together. It took me a minute to find a home and a job and get back in a routine. Though I am a firm believer that routine is the enemy of time, when you move to a foreign country with the intent to work and live it is important to get into a routine. It hasn’t been as easy to get into the regimented schedule. This time when I got into the height of my training I just moved to a foreign country and didn’t have the luxury of knowing all of the best running routes in my area. My work schedule is also so up in the air since I am waitressing that it is difficult to make a set schedule. The closer I get to my end goal the more I realize that I need to put away the excuses and do what I needed to do to achieve the end goal. Though I am nowhere near ready to run those 26.2 miles I know my determination will get me through and help me get to the end goal.
I think the quote, “miles ahead worries behind” is something that poignant and a perfect motivator. When I am running nothing else matters. People might think the most challenging aspect of achieving a goal such as running a marathon would be the actual act of running the 26 miles. In my humble opinion, I believe the time leading up to the big day is the most challenging. You need to be determined enough to put in the hard work training. If you have the mental determination and the clarity to train hard enough you can achieve anything. All you gotta do is want it bad enough. It has taken me a bit to get in the zone of training for this new goal, but I think after some time I am truly pursuing my dream. Next stop: Dingle Marathon!
How do you guys stay on top of pursuing your dreams? Any tips for achieving goals?