Monday, March 25, 2019

Giving myself a win

A year ago today, I ran the West Point Fallen Comrades half-marathon. It was the first I'd ever done, and the experience was truly unforgettable. Despite the freezing temperatures, I knew it was something I'd want to do every year if I could, never wanting to forget our fallen soldiers from the Long Grey Line.

But I swear 2019 is trying to knock down everyone I know, throwing problems at us all left and right. As the date inched closer to this year's race, my husband and I agreed it was too much to fit in. We hadn't trained, and time was against our side with different events and obligations we had before and after.

But while in the middle of the query trenches, very little feels in your control. You revise and tweak your query, research the best agents, and follow every submission requirement.  But then you send out your query, and it's all out of your hands. There's nothing to do but wait. Something I'm not always that good at, haha.  And with so many other things in life feeling out of my control, I needed to take charge of one thing and give myself a win, and run this one all by myself.

That's why I love running so much. Because it's all up to me. It's hard, challenging me physically and mentally. But every success and failure is in my control.  So asking help from my husband and girls, I decided a week out to move heaven and earth and signed up to run this year's half-marathon.

With little training, a pinched nerve in my back, and some hopes and prayers, we headed up to West Point yesterday. It's one of my favorite spots in the country, so filled with history, incredible views, and some precious memories I hold dear.  While we woke up to 24 degree weather, the sun came out and warmed up to a perfect running temperature.

This isn't an easy race by any means. If you've ever spent time up there, you know how hilly it can be. And that is an understatement. From sea level to inclines of 1200 feet, even the most seasoned runners struggle up and down those hills. Especially since the most brutal one comes right at mile 12 when all you want to do is quit.

But one foot after another, the miles flew by. I pushed harder than I thought I could, ignoring pain and exhaustion, and crossed the finish line five minutes faster than last year. But honestly, the PR doesn't matter as much to me as the simple fact that I finished. I wanted something, worked hard at it, and succeeded.  That's not always the case in life. You can check all the boxes, work harder than you ever thought possible, and for reasons out of your control, you still might not achieve your goal.  But this one I did. One step at a time, over and over again, I left it all on the course and crossed the finish line with a smile on my face.

So as life continues to fight against me in other areas of life, I'll look at my medal and remember the win I sorely needed.

What are things you do when you need to take back control and give yourself a win.

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