Friday, March 4, 2011

Thoughts on Running

Well, there is just 45 days until the race.  I have to admit I am very excited and anxious.  This training has been brutal.  Never have I focused so much time and energy into preparing for a race.  After training for Grand Rapids last fall, I wondered how I could possibly train harder. Well, it's safe to say I have obliterated that.  It has been quite a challenge at times.  While, past marathons my goal has just been to finish in a decent time, I am now preparing like an elite athlete would prepare.  My entire life revolves around my focus on this race.  Everything I do; from the food I eat, to my sleep, proper rest, hydration, constant stretching, lifting and of course running.  I also have to limit my time going out late.  It sucks sometimes, because there are things I would really love to do but I have to remain focused.

  It may be hard for some to understand my obsession.  However, this race means everything to me.  I have worked so hard and come so far to get to this point.  It's not just the fact that I have worked hard in training and running to qualify and get the chance to run Boston.  What Boston really means to me is what is symbolizes.  It symbolizes everything I've done.  All of the tough challenges I've faced in my life in growing up, relationships, and other difficult times.  It proves that you can get past the toughest of times and reach unthinkable goals.  I promised myself that if I qualified for Boston, I would put my all into training for it and I mean't it.

  I have to admit, each time I train for a marathon, I seemingly get a little more obsessed.  It's hard to explain why I love it so much.  Sometimes I even question myself and think how my life was like before my constant grind of training.  Even though from time to time, I'll admit a nice rest would be great, my overall quality of life has not been better than once I started running.  I am not a person that can really do something half heartedly, especially something I find very interesting.  I can't see myself just jogging or running to stay in shape.  There is something about it that forces me to be obsessive.  I love how it forces me to strive for my best.  I love to race.  I love challenging myself to surpass even my highest goals.

  I never thought I'd run a sub 1:23 Half Marathon, but I did.  I used to think there was a cap on my potential, not just in running but in life.  Running gives me confidence that I can do anything.  I will always believe (to a certain extent) that I can always get better and better.  I am confident in my training and preparation that through hard work I can reach my goals.  And, although many many people will never understand what I do and why I do it.  And, although I'll never be able to explain it myself, I'll still keep pushing myself to surpass my own expectations.  The old me would think I'm crazy too.  When I look back on the Jon I used to be and compare it to the Jon now, I laugh.  I have a way better mental focus, am much more independent, and I just enjoy life more.  I don't try to do things just to satisfy others, I do things for myself.  If somebody doesn't like me for me, I'm fine with it-I'm not going to change myself just to satisfy someone else. 

 Running to me is more than just a way to stay in shape, and anyone that runs knows what I mean.  I don't know if it's what you gain each day when you're out on the run; the constant thought process that goes on-it changes you.  I have a completely different outlook on life.  The biggest thing I think I get out of it, is  confidence.  I have not always been the most confident person in the world, but throughout my training and racing I have slowly but surely become more and more confident.  I am still working on translating that to confidence in my life outside of running but it is a work in progress.  

Thanks to everyone that supports me, I appreciate it:)

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