Embracing Challenges and Vanquishing Limits

Happy Monday and Happy December!

This past weekend, I got to go home for Thanksgiving, and boy did I enjoy every minute of it. Family time, good food, and a chance to take a breather from studying = heaven.

Now I have 6 class days, 2 lab practicals and 3 final exams left until Christmas break. You’re looking at a chick who is SO READY.

Because then? I’ll only have one more semester until GRADUATION!!! 😀

But, I’m getting off track.

Instead of doing the regular ol’ recap of “what I ate and did” for thanksgiving, I thought I’d recap the 5k my dad and I ran after turkey day to kick off the Christmas season!

As you all know, I ran my first 5k less than a month ago.

Well…I think I may be developing an addiction to 5k’s…

Since this race took place within walking distance from my house, my dad and I couldn’t resist signing up. My mom isn’t much of a runner, but she still cheered us on.o the morning of the race (Saturday), we woke up early, did some stretching, and walked down to the event in the freezing cold. Yes. 38 degrees. We were basically decked out in Alaskan parkas. TEXAS, HOW COULD YOU?!?!

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Since we arrived early, we did some exploring downtown. My town throws a little Christmas festival each year and this race happened to fall on the same weekend, so there were tons of attractions about, like bounce houses, stages for music, and petting zoo. We couldn’t resist taking a few kooky shots by a carousel haha

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My ankle was bugging me, but I figured the pain would subside as I warmed up and got jogging.

Soon, it was time to line up and get ready to begin. So, we ditched our coats by a rogue tree and walked over to the start.

As we began, I was shocked at the amount of people jammed into this race. My dad and I practically had to dodge strollers, dogs, and crazy Gu-spiked women, just to keep a steady pace. It must’ve been a record-setting year because it never really thinned out like we were hoping.

The course was hilly (definitely not something I’m used to in the Gulf Coast for college) but I liked it. My ankle hurt like daggers going up the hills, but I kind of ignored it. I have to be honest and say it was kind of an ego-boost to pass people as you climbed hills, not to mention the relaxation of going down the hills.

We warmed up really fast despite the 38 degree temp and my ankle started feeling better!

Nearing the end of the race, my dad and I turned on the turbo jets, ignited our “kicks,” and throttled toward the finish line.

Crossing that line felt SO GOOD! The combination of people cheering, running next to my dad aka running buddy, my own voice telling me “you got this” and my lungs burning with the cold air was such a rush! I think that’s is why I enjoy running 5k’s–the pay off, the feeling you gave your all, the endorphin rush hitting you like a freight train!

5k

Going into the race, I wanted to beat my previous running time of 34:22 (yes I’m a snail). When we looked up our chip times, it turned out I shaved off a considerable amount; ending at 32:52.

Is it a new world record? No. Will I be recruited for a Kenyan racing team? No way.

The old me would’ve probably started playing the comparison game; beating myself up for how slow I am compared to other runners. But the new me chucks those old, negative thoughts in the trash.

Why? Because it was MY personal best. Not yours, or my dad’s, or an Olympic racer, but MINE. 

I’ve known for quite some time that I’m prone to never giving myself enough credit. So, instead of dwelling on the “should haves” and “could haves,” I took a moment to put some things into perspective.

Reflecting after the race, I realized a few things that made me proud of myself and my finishing time:

  • I’ve only ever raced twice
  • My “training: for this 5k was running once a week for 35ish minutes
  • I gave it my all

Those realizations made me also see how any race is simply an act of breaking the barriers your mind places in front of you.

I beat a girl who hates running with a passion. I beat my inner voice yelling, “you can’t do this.” I beat doubt. I beat myself. And I think that’s truly what racing is about: you vs. you. This race was a chance to challenge myself and beat my previous time and I did it. I conquered my goal and it felt SO good!

And now, since I’ve reached a new pinnacle, I only want to keep improving. My next aim? 30 minutes. And after that? Under 30 minutes. Then a 10k, or a 15k, or even a half marathon.

I’m not limiting myself with anything. We only silence our full potential when we put up roadblocks like that. Imagine the possibilities stemming from setting aspirations that have no absolute maximum. These past months, I’ve integrated this idea of saying goodbye to “can’t” and embracing “can” and “will.” Just the simple step of believing in myself and realizing that no goal is unattainable has changed me for the better.

………I kind of went on a little rabbit trail with this post rather than just a race recap haha but it’s truly how I feel. I encourage you to start living in such a way and realizing that you can overcome the limitations your mind sets up. 🙂

And so I leave you with a quote:

Ralph MarstonHave a great first week of December!

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9 Comments

  1. Smiling throghout this entire post m’lady… for many reason too! First becuase I can clearly hear your voice and characteristics through your writing! You are both funny and genuine and I can certainly tell both of these through your writing 🙂
    And second, the race! Congratulations on a job well done and also the thoughts and lessons that are not far behind. Focusing on the JOY aspect of such a race is so essential and it’s something that is all too commonly missed along the way. I am certainly guilty of it… running used to be something I loved, then it was a way to just exercise and now I’m easing back in. With that ease comes an appreciation and new found love for this sport and all aspects that go along with it. Races like 5ks included!

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