Just Go

As I wrote about, I was really inspired and excited by the 27,000 runners at the Baltimore Running Festival last weekend. For a long time, I think I put runners on a pedestal. Something I could never be because duh- so sorry, so slow, so out of shape, so lazy, so hopeless, case closed. After all, in our grade school fitness test, I walked an 18.5 minute mile because I decided it was too hard after trying to run for 4 minutes. Since then when sinking into my BLAH SO FAT SO UNMOTIVATED FOREVER FAT mindset, I’ve often thought “sheesh if I could just be a runner”. Running is fascinating—our bodies are literally built to run but somehow it’s just not easy for everyone as it seems it should be thanks to asthma, bad knees, etc. There’s something so poetic about running, I thought. You lace up and just go wherever your feet take you for as long as they can.

Where am I going with this..oh yes I already regret starting this post. I always just assumed, remembering my pathetic mile attempt that was now 12 years ago (what? How? Ew), that I couldn’t be a runner. No clue why, that first mile attempt just stuck with me. But I always admired runners from afar. “Wow! They ran a half marathon? They ran for two and a half (estimated) straight hours! The only thing I can really do for two and a half hours is read, sleep and eat. So freaking cool, yo.” I’ve run two Color Runs and training for that was difficult because I was (am?) so out of shape.

Yet standing there at the Baltimore Running Festival, I was surprised to see so many runners of all shapes, sizes and ages. I saw a girl I (barely) knew from college who decided she wanted to feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from a marathon so she signed up for a marathon.  Right there, surrounded by olives, I mulled that over and got my philosophical hat on. How cool. She thought about what she wanted to be and went for it. It’s so easy and mind-blowingly simple when you break it down  like that. Why don’t I think of it like that? I make everything so complicated.

I saw all these people last Saturday, medals draped around their neck, and I thought “I could be one of them. If I wanted to, and put the work and time in, I could be one of them. I could be a half marathoner like I’ve wanted to be. They worked for it and did it. So could I.” So…..I will be. I am officially signed up for the Charles Street 12 miler in August. Not quite a half marathon but close. Charles Street is a historic, celebrated street here in Baltimore.  I love the early bird discounts and I know if I don’t sign up early and make myself work toward it, I’ll push it off and eventually talk myself out of it once enough time goes by and it looks like I won’t be able to successfully train in time or I’ll be all “you want to do whaaat? hello caitlyn have you met yourself before?” Yep, that’s how I talk to myself. Will I do the Baltimore half marathon two months after that? I hope so. The early bird discount ends in a week and half so I should decide, uh, soon. I already looked at a half marathon training plan and wrote it all down.


“hal”= hal higdon program. 

I’m worried that I won’t be able to pull it off because I’ve never really taken on something so challenging as this. This is going to be hard and intense and I’m going to have to work really hard. I don’t really do “hard and intense”. I do “lounging in bed reading” and “eating nachos then taking a hard-earned nap”. Do I really have the ambition and determination and willpower to see this through? It’s all well and good to sit here and write about “I think I can I think I can”, “The only thing stopping me is me!”, but REALLY. Looking harder at this..I can sit here and spew out all the “I can do anything i set my mind to!!” cliches until the cows come home, but I’m so damn lazy, can I actually physically and mentally do this? Again I can sit here and I say “I think so.” But only time will tell. I really want to be a half marathoner. I don’t often get the chance to surprise myself, prove something to myself or work toward something and then feel proud when I accomplish it – what that says about my lame-ass life, I don’t want to analyze – and this is it. I want to feel the victory and sense of pride. I’ll be 25 (!) when all this happens, it’s time.

So…here we are. Just go.


22 thoughts on “Just Go

  1. You’ve got this! I am so not a runner by any means, but this is definitely one of the times that having a blog will be helpful. If you start to lose motivation or are having trouble with any part of the training, post it on here! You know all the “real” runners out there will have advice for you and will help motivate you. Congrats on making such a great commitment!

  2. Hey, I’m thrilled to see your logic in making this decision! That’s exactly how I set out to do my first race ever, which was a 10K. I said, hey, I want to be able to run 6 miles, that seems like insanity and so cool! I trained and it was HARD. I would be defeated some runs and others I’d feel like I was a ruler of the world. It’s definitely as much a physical thing as it is a mental thing, and that’s why I started blogging about running so much. I love talking about it. I love being a part of it. I hope you do too! My other, better half, however, hates running and sometimes, that just happens. But for me, I just continue to love it more. You are going to do so well, and once you make running 5 ish days a week a habit, you’ll never want to stop. You’re going to inspire your own self and I can’t wait for you! Congrats on your decision, I have zero doubts that you’ll be able to do it and do it well. Start thinking about materials you’ll need to have when running that long and start setting up budgets for that, too. 🙂 YAY CAITLYN!

  3. YOU GOT THIS. just remember: training takes TIME so put in the time and you WILL see the results!! don’t expect to be a marathoner in 2 weeks, don’t expect to have an amazingly fast pace…running is a skill that has to be learned and you learn by slowly working on your endurance and then start improving your speed.

    that’s what i did for tough mudder – i thought: man, i could NEVER do this but i signed up anyway and just trained as much and as hard as i could up until the weekend of the race and you know what? IT WAS THE BEST DECISION I EVER MADE!!

    good luck, keep at it, remember that it takes time to train and just stick with your schedule!! YOUR BODY CAN DO ANYTHING; IT’S JUST YOUR MIND YOU HAVE TO CONVINCE.

  4. Congrats on signing up! I always think about registering for road races and then don’t when I remember I hate running and am terrible at it. That’s why I do obstacle races instead, I need the distraction of the obstacles!

  5. I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE THIS!!!!! And FYI- if you want to do another color run on November 17… it’s coming to bmore… just saying 😉

  6. You so can do this!!! I know you can! I never ever ever ever thought as a very overweight teenager that I could ever call myself a runner but you can definitely push through that and run further than you think you can. Once you start training and slowly increasing your distance you will surprise yourself I know it 🙂

  7. The key to successfully finishing this run is to DITCH THE NEGATIVE mind!! Seriously..running is 90% mental!! YOU CAN DO this…you just have to believe it!! If you put in the training, you will be just fine. I swore running my first half would be the hardest thing in the world, and now I run them as my favorite races!! DO IT!! YOU WILL BE GREAT! SO excited for you!

  8. Wow good for you!!
    I can totally relate to how you are feeling…I’m just not a runner. I’ve tried, believe me, I’ve tried several times to do programs, etc but just can’t. It’s not for everyone. I definitely know what you mean about seeing racers and they are so motivational, but I just found after many attempts that sticking with what I love makes me way happier than forcing myself to do something I hate!

  9. It’s awesome how you write. And an awesome goal too! All the reasons and the motivation lie in what you’ve written. Wish I had at least some of that. Keep going, you inspire.

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