Hey friends! I’m writing a rare personal post today. Not very often do I bare my heart like this in my blog, so be gentle with your comments please! I have a bucket list, do you? One of the items on my bucket list is to run a half marathon someday. Two years ago I mentioned this to one of my closest and dearest friends. Pretty sure from there the conversation went like this, “Hey! Let’s start running together! We can start small with 5ks!” My awesome friend Cheryl cautiously replied, “Sounds good.” 🙂 Love that woman, the first person to hear this dream of mine, supported me, and even let me drag her along!
So we did it, we began training separately and together to run races. We had the mantra that we may be slow but we will finish! That has pulled us through:
… and next Sunday hopefully our first half marathon!
I’m pretty proud of all we have been through together and the races we have run together. I started at 30 years old, after having 3 kids, and the most exercise I did on a regular basis was lifting kids and laundry. I had so much to learn and still do but I’m loving the journey! I’ve met new people, let me tell you runners are super nice people! I have researched running socks, running shoes, tech clothes and energy foods so much I could bore you for hours with all of this new knowledge :). I have been through three pairs of running shoes, countless miles (one month I was well over 100 miles, training can be intense), many blisters, knee braces, two arm bands for my phone (GPS tracking/music), a few tubes of muscle rub, gallons upon gallons of water, and enough sweat to fill a swimming pool! OK, maybe that last one is an exaggeration but it sure seems like it. I had no idea I could sweat so much!
Next Sunday we will run our half marathon that we have been training for for 2 years! To say I’m nervous would be an understatement. To say I’m excited would also be a major understatement! I have so many emotions about this race. I’m crossing off a major item on my bucket list. The emotion I was NOT prepared for though was sadness. Yep, you read that right. Sadness. I’ve been trying to place it’s origin all week. Here is my best effort at understanding it. Partially it comes from that bucket list item being crossed off, strange but true. I’ve worked toward this goal for 2 years and now it will be over. When something amazing is over I’m always a tiny bit sad even while mostly happy. Another reason I’m struggling a bit with sadness is my poor friends and family have had to listen to me talk about my races endlessly for 2 years and while I’m super excited for next Sunday I feel like I’m the only one. This excludes my running partner and best friend Cheryl of course! I kind of miss the encouraging words and support when I first started racing with 5ks. I get it, mostly they are not runners and it just sounds like another race Johanna is doing. While for me I keep thinking, “WAHOO! This is IT!!! The Big One!!! 13.1 MILES!!!” The biggest part of my sadness though is that after all of this training and effort my family won’t be able to be there. I hate how selfish that sounds, but it’s true. I wanted them there to celebrate with and see that huge milestone in my life with me. The thing is most marathons/half marathons are on Sundays. My husband is a youth minister, so Sundays he is not available. I love his job and wouldn’t have it any other way. This once though it makes a big life accomplishment without my family there. I’m trying hard to focus on enjoying it and not being sad. I don’t want to be selfish or let the lack of my family’s presence ruin my half marathon. I am praying hard about my heart, sadness and attitude. I’m hanging desperately onto the nervousness, excitement, and joy of accomplishing my goal.
This week as I finish my half marathon training and struggle through all of these emotions I am so grateful. I’m grateful to God for my health that I can train and run. I’m grateful for Cheryl and her steady support and willingness to be my running partner. I’m grateful to my husband for his passion for ministry and love for me and my dreams. I’m grateful to my understanding blog followers that I’ve been so much slower at posting lately because of my training schedule.
So there it is, a big deeply honest part of my heart. My dream, my work to get there, my feelings on it and gratitude. What a mess I am sometimes, but aren’t we all if we are honest? Thanks for stopping by!
Good on you Johanna and Good Luck.
How inspiring to hear about all your hard work and training which has paid off and here you are, ready to take the final stage of completing your dream. Thank you for your brave and honest account of all the other emotions this has brought about. Great blog and post. God bless and good luck for Sunday! You will have thoughts and prayers from Western Australia. Xx
WOW!!! You go girl. What a massive achievement. I completely understand why you would feel sad your family are unable to be with you on your “final hurdle”, but you have come so far and you will have Cheryl with you. I’m sure together you can keep each other going.
I wish you all the luck in the world and look forward to hearing how you both got on.
RUN, RUN, RUN!! 🙂
Hugs and best wishes from the UK
Congratulations on your accomplishment! What an inspiration and a truthful account how the many emotions that go hand and hand with living our dreams.
Best wishes and positive vibes to you from Boston, Ma.
I know this has nothing to do with running, but you got to go skydiving at least once!!!!
I gotta tell you, I love your blog but this last post was timely! I will be doing my first and most likely last 1/2 marathon on Dec 7. And I’m 61! To call it a “race” doesn’t fit; I just want to finish. Been training for about a year or so. It’s all because of my daughter, son in law, and extended family’s encouragement. My husband and grand kids will be cheering, so I’m lucky in that respect, but I completely concur with your sadness comments. It’s difficult to put into words but you came close! Good luck and have fun!
Barb….you are MY inspiration. I’m 51 and am planning on running a 5k each month in 2014. My personal goal 🙂 I am going to try for 10k, but will be just as happy as with the fun 5k’s. Thank you for YOUR timely post. Good luck and you will rock it, woman! Yay for us “more mature” women!
How wonderful for you!! I, too, began running a few years ago – partly to get my body in shape after having five kids, but mostly to have something that was just..well..MINE. My time spent running was my own and it saved me, in so many ways. I still run today, but that goal of a 1/2 marathon remains elusive. I am still working towards it though! I admire you and respect where you have come from and where you find yourself now!! Incredible feeling! I understand that you must be sad that your family can’t be there to share with you this realization of a goal so long strived for and finally attained…here is an idea – what if your husband invited his youth group to the race to watch? And created a message that included your goal-setting, working hard, and finally accomlishing it? I don’t know ANY teenager who couldn’t benefit from a little bit of inspiration like that!! Just an idea 🙂 I wish you a wonderful race!!
What amazing accomplishments you’ve achieved in the past couple years. And the best is yet to come. Isn’t it funny how when we work so hard to accomplish something there are actually bittersweet emotions of releasing that goal? Good luck!
Congrats on all the hard work. I’m a runner, so I know what you’ve been through and you deserve the medal you’ll earn on Sunday. I hope you have great weather and a fabulous race! I hope you’ll blog about it to let us know how it goes!!
Well done Johanna, you go girl!!
your block has really inspired me today, and it was so in the spirit. Here in South Africa we had a bicycle race on yesterday that was 94.7km. It is a big event with 31000 people doing it for various reasons. My husband did it the first time ever, and I was so proud of him. It was very hard, but he made it. Just yesterday I was sharing with one of my friends how we must do this race next year. Put the goal out there and do it. She doesnt sound to kean, but this morning our minds are already getting there, we drinking water, eating right and getting into the right frame of mind. Thats why im saying your blog was so in the spirit, and just what we needed to hear. I read it to her aswell, and I think it motivates both of us.
Blessings for Sunday, and thank you for a great, honest blog! Love it
Have a wonderful race. I am so proud to see how you worked for this event, mile store, in your life. Your family will there in spirit…this is your race so do your best. ENJOY ever step. Thank you for your blog. I am a first time poster and a fairly new member.
Johanna…I can relate to all the feelings you are having about this upcoming run. I was recently in a similar position where my family was not going to be there for a 1/2 I had trained hard for. I wanted badly for them to cheer me on and to celebrate this achievement together. But what I’ve learned was that all this training and time I put into the goal was not to have a cheer team, but to achieve a goal for myself. I ran that day with my goal for myself in mind and was completely satisfied in the end. I hope you do well and achieve your goal you’ve set for yourself and find satisfaction in that. Blessings!
I hope you have a WONDERFUL race! I totally understand your sadness…on both fronts (the end of the journey and your family not being there).
Write their names on your hands. Know that they are there in your heart. But also know that this accomplishment belongs to you. Enjoy your victory lap!
(I landed here after my aunt sent me your post about the calm down bottle timer. Happy to have found you!)
I totally totally understand your feelings!!!
Some years ago I got roped in to walking a marathon thro the night in a decorated bra around London!
Two good friends and I bonded like super glue. The pain and tears we went through in training, the joy and sense of achievement at each training milestone and then the struggle of the actual night.
We all needed to keep debriefing after it was over. There was suddenly a massive hole in my life and Altho I never wanted to put on a pair of trainers again……… I found myself doing it all again the next year!!
Good luck for sunday and lots of love xxxxxxxxxx
I took my GRE on November 11, and, although it’s very different than running a half marathon, it is one step in my journey back to grad school–which is probably number 1 on my bucket list. I came home to just another normal day. I’d sacrificed hours, energy and emotions to making sure I passed this test and I wanted my family to celebrate me that day. But it didn’t happen. So I understand a little of what you feel. Others don’t always support us the way we want them too, but they are proud of us in their own way, and we have to be okay with that. After all, it’s your bucket list, not theirs. 😉 Congratulations, by the way! Tomorrow is your big day! It’s kind of a big deal to earn that 13.1 sticker. Just like I earned my GRE score. Go us!
Johanna — How did the half-marathon turn out for you?! Was it all you expected? Congratulations on working towards your goal and we all can’t wait to hear how it went!