This past weekend, in 60 hours, I drove 16 so that I could run for 2.
I completed my first 13.1-mile race.
I’m still processing that. I’ve worked towards this goal for over a year and finally realized it.
And like much that is going on in my life right now, the people who supposedly love and know me best don’t seem to appreciate how much it means to me.
Yes, I got some very nice kudos on FB which mean a lot to me (thank you friends). Yet, despite talking about the race for weeks (the distance, my disappointment at missing my intended race two weeks ago and switching to this one, working up my endurance, carboloading, etc.), I had this quite telling conversation:
“Congrats on your race… yeah… I didn’t realize it was a half-marathon.”
<choke back flippant retort>
Me: “Thanks. Yeah. 13.1 miles.”
“Was it hard?”
“Does it make you consider running a full marathon?”
“No.” <bite tongue hard> “I really don’t have the time or inclination right now to train for that distance.”
Here is my big accomplishment — a year in the making — and I am: Stung. Hurt. Devalued. Insulted.
There are two takeaways:
1. A “Half-Marathon” needs a new name. It is 13.1 miles of running. It is fully, completely, absolutely hard.
Somewhat prepared for this by the questions by friends, relatives and relative strangers alike over the last months of training I decided to do something about that.
I give you: tredecem.
I’ll be writing more on this but you heard it here first folks.
2. Your goals are profoundly personal. Only you can fully appreciate them. So do just that.
Call it what you will, I finished something really challenging for me.
I had 457 miles of back roads, fall leaves, cotton fields and the most beautiful sunset I have seen in quite a while to think about that… and I’m still internalizing and trying to fully appreciate what it means to me.
I am committing to belly-button-gazing on that a while longer because it is a much better use of time and energy then my usual constant internal barrage of “should” and “need to” dos. (I wish I had been faster, less droopy in miles 10 and 11, beat my goal-goal time and not just my goal time, finished stronger…etc.) I’m wishing away my achievement and all the while I’m doing myself an incredible injustice.
There are enough people who will try, unintentionally or not, to undervalue and depreciate your successes. You and I shouldn’t do it to ourselves.
When you accomplish something important, don’t give anyone the power to lessen it, cheapen it, or try to take it away. “Anyone” includes you.
Remember one thing: I completed what I set out to do.
I’m still working on this. I’m trying to remind myself that I have control over how much or little I let the behavior of others effect me. I’m trying to fully honor my accomplishments.
As a step in that ongoing process: without apology, qualification, deprecation or (much) embarrassment I say: I finished my first tredecem.
What are you proud of completing? Affirm it for yourself here (and let me give you some kudos too). It can be recent or just something that you’d like to remember in this space to self-congratulate. You deserve it.