Jun 5, 2019
Over the weekend, my Mom and I went to Vermont for a mother-daughter getaway and to run one of my Mom’s bucket list races: The Covered Bridges Half Marathon.
And this race will definitely be one I will never forget not just for the scenic course of the Vermont country side, live folk bands, and covered bridges, but because I ran one of the best half marathons I have ever ran!
Short backstory: I have been running for 12 years. After my competitive running in college was cut short, I decided to try running longer distances - first a half marathon then a full marathon after graduating college. Now, at almost 30, I decided to find my full potential in my running career and hire a running coach to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon only takes the best and fastest runners, but now that running is a pretty popular sport, it’s very competitive, and not an easy goal to achieve for the average runner.
My coach told me before running this race: “PR’s are not given, they are earned.” I have been training for less than 8 weeks with my coach with consistent runs, weekly workouts (hill repeats, speed work) or medium mid-week runs, and weekend longish runs (no more than 10 miles).
Even though I have been in this sport a long time (or at least it feels like to me), I realize why I never made it as a young athlete even though my college cross country coach told me that he saw talent in me and my coach now says the same thing. Even though he knows this is a BIG goal to attain this goal so quickly, he sees the talent and drive in me to make this truly happen. When I set my mind to do something I do it. But that doesn’t mean I have times when I want to quit.
What I didn’t have when I was younger and I am still learning is grit. I feel like I have always had passion and perseverance for certain things. I remember wanting to quit playing the clarinet (too much pressure, lacked confidence, missed solo in concert, lost band friends, etc.) and I sticked with it until 12th grade, but I never felt like I achieved success. I stopped playing as soon as I graduated.
I’ve lacked mental toughness. According to mental toughness, inc.: "Mental toughness is the ability to resist, manage and overcome doubts, worries, concerns and circumstances that prevent you from succeeding, or excelling at a task or towards an objective or a performance outcome that you set out to achieve."
I now realize why I have never reached my full potential in my running career. And if I truly want this qualifying time, I have to have grit. I have to believe, work hard, listen to my coach, be patient, and trust the process.