foreword: my mother has commented that my blog posts have been a little 'thin' lately, so these words are for her.
Over the last 12 weeks I have run around 170 miles, completed four races, paced my Dad around his first 10k, been covered in paint, taken in some spectacular views, made some wonderful new friends, explored my city and got fitter than I ever imagined I could become.
It's been amazing. Truly inspiring.
Tomorrow I take on my biggest challenge yet - 13.1 miles around Birmingham. Sitting in bed at my parent's house (resting my legs) I feel a little emotional. The journey to get here has been one of the best of my life. It has given me focus and shown me that I am capable of so much more that I would ever have dreamed possible. If you'd told me two years ago that I would be running a half marathon tomorrow I think I would have told you to f**k off! But I am. It's funny how life changes. It's a good thing.
I am nervous. My legs feel like jelly after some mid-week squats and my belly is doing flips. My last long run went so well that I am worried I peaked too early and will lose it tomorrow. I keep repeating my race mantra to keep myself on track and remember my purpose for the next 24 hours, it brings me calm.
Between bouts of apprehension I am more excited than words. I can't wait to hit those streets. I can see myself bobbing from foot to foot at the start line. I can see myself beaming to the crowds. I can feel the medal around my neck, and that rising feeling of vomit as I cross the finish line knowing I've given everything I can. I can feel the rush. I can feel those long training miles, steep hill sessions and hard work paying off. Yes there will be pain, but I will cope and my preparation will take over. I will do it.
It is all these emotions, good and bad, that are what draw me to running. I love to prove myself. To take on a new challenge and see how far I can push myself. For years I was ok with coasting along, with being mediocre and ok. It never ceases to amaze me how much I am capable of and the feeling that gives me is addictive. I look at the woman I am today and am slightly in awe of what I have become - it feels like a strange fantasy, and I never want it to end. Tomorrow I will show myself once again that I am capable of more than I ever dreamed possible, and it will feel amazing.
(if you are after some Sunday morning viewing, The Great Birmingham Run will be on channel 5 from 10am. I will be the one in the pink t-shirt)
side note: I shared my inspiration and motivation with Elle this week - read my thoughts here.