The Half Mile Marathon

(The title is not a typo…my six year old son calls my race the half mile marathon 😊)

On Friday November 9th, 2018 I sent Kevin a text from our local library. “Thinking about running Nashville half marathon in April. Mommy trip??”

When I hit send I felt a sense of excitement I hadn’t felt in a long time.

I had a goal, and it had nothing to do with my husband or my kids. It was my goal.

Then I felt selfish for a moment, but my elation returned when my husband responded, “Sounds like a great idea.”

One month before this my son and husband surprised me with a running log for my birthday. I had not owned one since high school cross country. I loved it so much, and seeing their joy when they handed it to me was priceless.

But my first thoughts were: How will I fill the pages? I am not a runner. I just occasionally run. And I have incontinence, so I cannot go far.

These were just some of my self defeating thoughts. So after 10 days my running log sat blank. Another incomplete pursuit….oh well.

Then I read Gretchen Rubin’s book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives. It changed everything.

The book is all about habits and how we can start good ones and end bad ones. It explains different personality types and how each type is motivated. In this book she described a friend who never missed a track practice in high school, yet couldn’t manage to run as an adult. I felt like she was describing me.

I finally had an explanation–I was an Obliger who required accountability to start and maintain habits.

When I finished her book I felt relief. It’s like when your toddler is being a nightmare and then you realize they are teething..the behavior suddenly makes sense! I no longer felt lazy and unmotivated, I just needed a goal! I was not able to run consistently because I had no goal or accountability.

So November 9th I sent the text to Kevin and the journey began.

Now I am one month away from my half marathon. As I mentioned in a previous post, the race is not the only goal or the end. The race has helped build the habit and helped me enjoy the process.

As I flip through the pages of my running log I can hardly believe it’s mine. I finally understand myself and what motivates me. I am a runner. I am not fast and I still have incontinence–but I am a runner.

Thank you, Kevin, for reminding me I am a runner. Thank you for buying the running log, for responding to my text, and for making me breakfast on the mornings I run. 😁

Nashville here I come!

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