How did we decide to run in Napa? We visited family that lives close to San Francisco last Spring and knew we wanted to come back to explore this area of California more! My husband is the runner and he uses any excuse to travel for a run. We planned to visit our family again this year and the Napa Valley Marathon/Half determined the timing of that visit. I really had no intention (or desire) to run in this race. We planned to bring our littlest guy with us and we’d be the cheering team for my husband. I had begun to run a little again and by little, I mean one mile for each run. When a couple of our friends decided to join us for the run in Napa, we knew it would need to be an adults only trip. With some encouragement from Tony and a thought in the back of my head of, ‘Am I really going to be the only one not running?’, I decided to run the half marathon! And so, the training began.
What in the world?! Did I really just run 13.1 miles??! When I started this training, I had no idea how it would look at the end of it, but I was pretty sure I would be walking at least part of those 13.1 miles. I had no time goal but did set a goal to run the entire time. I seriously went from not running a mile without stopping to running the whole thing without walking! I’ve come a long way in just a few short months and not just in my ability to run longer distances.
Boy has my mind changed about this running! It’s still hard most days, but I put my Air Pods in now and dance to the music as I head out the door. I look at hills and smile instead of getting angry when I see them and I think about how they are going to make me stronger. My mind is clear when I’m running and I surprise myself when I realize how far I’ve run and am excited to finish another challenging run. During my runs I used to think about how tired I was, how hard this was, how my legs were tired, how I couldn’t wait to be done. And slowly overtime those thoughts have turned into how strong I am, how far I’ve come, I can do this, I’m lucky to be out here getting stronger. I can’t even remember this shift happening, but I use those thoughts to get me through the tough parts of the run and up those hills!
I also now know how crucial it is to feed myself those positive thoughts outside of the time I’m running as well. I think I’ve always been a glass half full girl, but my mindset has changed as a result of my running routine. I feel amazing when I’m done with a run and that carries me for hours after. But consistently pushing myself to accomplish runs that I never thought possible pushes me to achieve other things that I never thought possible. Running also provides me with the time to clear my mind, reflect, plan, pray and dream and be intentional once I finish. This time has become so important to me as it’s a time I can focus just on me and become stronger- physically and mentally.