Sunday, July 21, 2013

Half Marathon, Part 1

This morning is the Chicago Half Marathon, and I'm thrilled to be running.  I have never thought of myself as a runner, and yet, today I'm out there doing it, running when I can, and walking when I must.

This is my first half marathon, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.  I am.  I wish I was a little more prepared physically (why didn't I start training earlier?) but I am very, very ready mentally.  And I've said how important the mental aspect is to my running style.  My playlist is prepared.  My outfit selected.  My breakfast picked out.  My support crew (my parents!) are lined up in wait.  

There are almost ten Rank's running in today's race, and I count myself so lucky to be in their midst.  Am I going to be as fast as them?  Absolutely not.  I am quite confident, in fact, that I will finish last out of them (and possibly out of everyone:) but the fact is - I don't care.  My ego is completely removed from the equation.

I've never thought of myself as a runner, so more than anything, this is a game of Kate versus Kate.  Brain versus legs.  Heart versus mind.  Since I am such a mental runner, I decided to continue my trend of running "for" someone.  When I want to quit, I will focus on that person and I hope that will keep me strong mentally, even if physically I'm faltering.  The names are written on the inside of my arm.  

I know people run half marathon's every day.  I know that in the grand scheme of things, it isn't a big deal.  But this is my first race of this distance (it will more than double my race distance record!) and it's a big deal to me.  So if you have any prayers or positive energy to send my way this morning, that would be fantastic.

Without further ado, here is what I'll be thinking of at each grueling mile: 

1 My mom, who helped me take my first step and every one after
2 My dad, Shawn Steil, who didn't teach me how to walk, but helped me to soar through life with the kind of guidance and support that only a dad can provide
3 My grandparents, Jeanne & Gerry, who are examples of healthy lives and living well
4 My four brothers.  I would be lost in life if I wasn't a sister.  (And growing up with you four was certainly a test of endurance like this race will be).
5  My cousin Christine, a lifetime BFF, and a person who's friendship has calmed my fears and stoked my confidence more times than I can count.
Mike Maloney, and all the baggage that that entails.  His life and death strengthened my resolve to be healthy, fit, and strong.
7 My family members running the race today: Scott, Matt & Kelly, my brother Austin, my cousin Anne, my cousin-in-law Bryan, and two cousin's man friends Kyle & Jeff.  Gifted runners and true friends that I am lucky to call family.
Martin Richard, for whom I pledged to run this mile shortly after the Boston bombings claimed his life.  I was registered for the 1/2 before the bombings occurred, and while they scared me a bit, they also boosted my resolve (eff you, terrorists).
9 My high school soccer coach (cough, cough) who said I wasn't "much of a runner" and therefore put me on defense instead of offense like I wanted. And to anyone else who's inspired doubt in my heart.
10 My grandma Phyllis, a champion of physical fitness and of me, who's time on earth overlapped mine by less than 10 years, but who's presence on my life is strong to this day.
11 Scott, my partner in life and in running, since 11 is our lucky number.
12 The bridesmaid's dress that I'm wearing on the 12th in three short months, and the bride whom I am lucky to call a sister (to-be).
13 Myself,
 the only person who needed proof that I could do it.  And by God, if I've made it this far, then there is reason for celebration.
I'm hoping to be back on the grid tomorrow with a recap of the race.  Hopefully I'll have good news to share, but at the very least, rest assured that I will be trying my very, very hardest.  

1 comment:

  1. such a beautiful post! i just love that you dedicated each mile to someone or something. that is so cool! i must admit, i had to steal your idea to get me through the last four miles on sunday, and it worked! i'll for sure be doing it for my next race too!


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