Recently I’ve been having a hard time training for Team Challenge. I can’t seem to find the time to train properly, I’m getting frustrated and discouraged. For me, just signing up and showing up to the start line isn’t anything worth writing home about. Anyone can register for the race. Anyone can buy the gear. Anyone can say “I’m on a Team Challenge team”. To me…this is about finishing the race. Finishing the race is what will be amazing. There is nothing amazing about showing up. Its about how you finish. And when I say “finish”, I don’t mean how great your time is or how fast/slow you were. I mean that you trained, you showed up, you ran/walked the race and you finished it strong just like how you planned. You don’t punk out along the way. You don’t give up when things get too hard.

I had a long chat with my TC mentor and manager last night about how I was discouraged in my training because I simply do not have the time to run 15 miles a week right now. I had planned on running this race as much as I could and right now, that’s not even close to 13.1 miles. My manager and mentor told me that maybe I should consider changing my race strategy to explicitly run/walking. Which is essentially interval training. I can’t believe I didn’t think about that. I was so focused on how my training was lacking, that I didn’t consider my plan was flawed. Right now all my schedule allows for is running when I can, so that means when race day comes, I’ll run/walk this 1/2 marathon. My body won’t have conditioned itself enough to run the whole thing…and you know what? I am fine with that because this is part of what I signed up for. I signed up to troubleshoot this. It would be easy to give up, or to just say “Fine, I’ll walk it”.

But that’s not who I am. I will fight to do my best. I will show myself and my team that I am stronger than UC. I am stronger than MS.

Sure. Things happen. Life happens. I could go into an MS relapse tomorrow that takes away my vision, or numbs me from the waist down…but I will do what it takes to get out of it, and start training when I can.

Team Challenge is a workout for your body AND your mind. Its improving my mental strength. Its showing me I can do more than I thought that I could and most of the time the only excuses I have are ones that I have convinced myself are true. “I can’t do it because ________”. Pick your favorite excuse. I’ve already used it.

To me its not amazing to show up, its amazing to complete something you’ve trained so hard for. Amazing is the feeling you get when you cross the finish line, not when you register for the race. It doesn’t take courage to sign up, it takes $75 to sign up. It takes courage to do it…and complete it. It doesn’t take much to buy all the equipment and call myself a runner. Running is what makes the runner.

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