If we aren’t Facebook friends and you don’t follow me on instagram, you might not know that I’m training for my first half marathon. Yeah, you read that right…I’m training for a major race during the #1 busiest season for wedding photographers. AND…it just so happens I’ll be running my race the day before I leave to head to Rehoboth to co-host my first workshop. What can I say?? I’ve always been the type of person who loves to take on as much as I think I can handle and do my best to juggle it all. I once worked a 23 hour shift when I was a visual coordinator at Old Navy…no one ever believes me when I say that, but it’s true!
I decided to run the race because I’ve been saying I’d run a marathon for years and hadn’t run any races at all. I mean, I did run the Hardywood 4 miler back in April, but let’s be real…I did that all for the beer and the Boka takos. Why running? Why a marathon? Because I’ve never been athletic. Never. I can’t throw, can’t catch, am too small to really tackle anyone, have no aim, can’t kick. You name it, I have zero sports acuity. ZERO. Anyone remember the President’s Physical Fitness test for kids? The ones you would do in school? I failed those like every single year. With flying colors. One year I actually came close to completing…that year was the year that I discovered that running wasn’t so bad…I could do it. Any really, anyone can run as long as you just put one foot in front of the other and set your mind to it. One thing that’s not so easy? PULL UPS. Dang you upper body weakness!!
Anyway, as I’ve been training for this race, I’ve learned some really important things that I thought I would share with you guys. I didn’t expect training for a race to be such a personal journey (in more ways than one!), but it’s been surprisingly eye opening. Several times I’ve wanted to quit. I mean, it’s my busy season. Since I started training I’ve shot 9 weddings in 7 weeks, a rehearsal dinner, five portrait sessions, had a ton of client meetings, and then there’s all the editing. And Marry & Bright. And Envision. I have struggled keeping up with everything and maintaining some semblance of a life…but it hasn’t been bad. Just hectic. There were weeks when I really only did my long run and then couldn’t commit any other time to running. But when I would get out there and actually run, I heard myself telling myself “Just keep moving. One foot in front of the other. Breathe”. Somehow this is the greatest metaphor for this hectic fall as well!
Yesterday I started a run feeling super defeated. I had set out to run my longest run so far (10 miles) and somehow ended up running through some sort of Navy training exercises. I won’t lie…I almost started crying right there during my run when the entire group of runners passed me by…even the slowest runners were ahead of me. One of the girls stopped to WALK. I didn’t quit though. Just put my head down and listened to my music and kept moving forward. Eventually, I actually PASSED those two girls (though not any of the other runners unfortunately) and went on to run 10.37 miles at a good pace (for me!). The biggest lesson I have learned from running so far is that just like in life, you have to move at your own pace and learn to celebrate your own victories and milestones. So what if I run the half marathon and I finish last? I RAN A HALF MARATHON. So what if we don’t own our own home and many of our peers (and even some younger than us) do? We LOVE our apartment and it’s our home. So what if I haven’t booked a destination wedding? I’ve shot all over the East Coast and my clients regularly ask me to travel to them. So what if I was the slowest runner yesterday (again, I’m comparing myself to people who have been through a lot more than me, including BOOT CAMP), I ran 10.37 miles and lived to tell about it. That my friends, is a victory in my book.