Why You Should Go For It
Earlier this year I set a goal for myself to run a 10K.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with races like this, that’s around six miles or so … and a HUGE deal to me.
You might remember that I took up running about two years ago. I’m not the fastest runner (nor did I try to be) but I do have a lot of heart! When I started running, I wanted to do itto challenge myself physically and mentally. I wanted a reason to get outside with my kids and my dogs. I wanted to try a form of exercise I hadn’t done before, something that could help me become stronger and more agile and offer a sense of accomplishment.
Running has done all that and MORE. It has given me new confidence and shown me that my commitment will pay off when I set my mind to a race. I’ve always been goal-oriented, but this has been a whole new way to look at, quite literally, the milestones needed to reach a specific target. Which brings me back to the 10K …
I’ve put in 300 miles of training over the course of two years.
Yep … TWO YEARS. That’s how long it took to work up to this!
My training has consisted of running loops around the local park with the dogs. Occasionally, one of my kids would join in and coach me along too. I never had a fancy watch to help me track my miles or times, but I kept tabs through my phone. Very slowly, I started to see my one-mile pace improve. Very slowly, I began to see progress in how long I could run without stopping.
Although in the early days of running I didn’t know I’d want to do a 10K, I DID know that I wanted to push myself. I’ve done a handful of 3K and 5K races since I started running, butthe 10K was a big step up. I knew that by the end of the summer though, it could be a doable goal. And the timing seemed perfect, as I had scheduled a big surgery for September, one that would require a long recovery and a significant break from running. (And yes, I’m recovering and healing well!)
Leading up to the race—the “unofficial” French Island 10K here in La Crosse, Wisconsin—I started thinking about how much intentional FOCUS and DETERMINATION I’d put into running (even before I made up this 10K race due to local races being COVID-cancelled!).
First, I had to work up to running just ONE mile. Then I had to work up to running two, and then three. Then, I had to work on improving my pace of each mile. I had to get out and run even when I didn’t feel like it; even when the days were long and tiring. Every day that I ran, I had to make up my mind to go for it. When I look at those 300 training miles over the past two years, I think about how each mile mattered to a finish line I couldn’t even see yet.
So my question to you is this:
What are the miles, literally or figuratively, that you are working on in YOUR training—whether that be business, personal or physical training? Maybe you can’t see the finish line yet either. But you know that the work you’re doing matters, one step at a time. You know you should go for it, every day, because the training is setting you up for success.
And that success will be how YOU choose to define it. For me, for the 10K, it was having my family there cheering me on as I powered through. It was having my sister make me a paper plate medal to celebrate. It was finishing somewhere between 1 hour and 9 or 10 minutes, depending on who you ask. HA!
I think you should go for it, whatever IT is, and even if you’re not sure what IT will look like. Go for it even if you’re slow. Go for it even if you’re still learning. Don’t wait for the “right” moment. Get started and look at where you are in two weeks, two months, or even two years.
You’ll see a version of yourself you are proud of, because going for it changed you. It certainly changed me. <3