Tomorrow I will be running my first half-marathon. This is something I never imagined doing. When I started running about two years ago, I did it because it was an inexpensive way to get a good cardio workout. But as with anything in life, I needed a goal in order to keep motivated. My first goal was to complete a running podcast. I then worked on increasing my speed. I signed up for a 10k and set a goal to run 500 miles in a calendar year.
After I accomplished these, I decided it was time to try a half. Initially, the goal was just to run a half-marathon distance. It didn’t necessarily have to be in a race setting. However, I saw a race with a really nice tech material sweatshirt as some of the swag, so I signed up.
Yep, I signed up to run 13.1 miles to get a sweatshirt.
I’m feeling confident about tomorrow and after reading Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard I feel really inspired. It is the story of Leonard running an ultra-marathon in the Gobi Desert where a little dog starts to follow him, and his subsequent journey to bring her home with him. The book also gives some of the high–and low–lights of ultra-marathon running. The book showed me that there’s still a lot out there for me to achieve.
I honestly don’t know if I want to run a multi-stage ultra, but I do want to do a 50-mile race in Antelope Canyon someday. I know that this is a long way off, but reading a story about perseverance on so many levels is a really great inspiration and motivator to get out there and work towards it.
This is the first book I’ve read on running, but I’m really looking forward to finding more to learn about different races, opportunities, and people’s stories of overcoming some really crazy odds to partake in these extreme runs.
Running, as I’ve discovered personally, and through other people’s stories, has a huge impact on life. Its positivity is more far reaching than just increasing personal fitness. Running helps in a mental way that I didn’t know was possible. It trains you, and it tests you; almost more mentally than it does physically. It helps build determination and positive-thinking. It builds confidence and stamina.
Dion Leonard highlights all of these aspects in the book; not only in his races, but in his struggle to keep Gobi. Even Gobi herself shows these in her fight to survive.
It’s a great book; so tomorrow as I’m plodding out mile after mile, I will think of these two and how my journey across the finish-line is a piece of cake compared to their journey from China to Scotland. However, my journey is really just beginning as this is just one more step that gets me closer to my ultimate goal of taking on the canyon.