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!