Faith In Training by Karl Olson

Faith In Training

On Labor Day I achieved my biggest fitness goal for the year: I ran a half marathon.

The whole thing.

From start to finish.

13.1 miles.

And it felt great.

Months ago I honestly and secretly thought that this goal was rather unrealistic. I had run maybe five miles on the treadmill long ago, but as I began working on this goal I could barely run even three without slowing down to a brisk walk at times. The thought of running not just that distance, but that amount of time was completely daunting.

My training has been focused on general fitness with an emphasis on stability, core, and muscle groups used in running. Plus plenty of time on the treadmill and stair stepper. My first official organized run (and actually the first time taking the running shoes outdoors) was the “Sharin’ o’ the Green 5k” here in Fort Collins. Encouraged by my results and with the invitation of a friend who was running the Bolder Boulder again, I went on to finish my first 10k with an even faster pace and even more confidence.

Still, the thought of 13 miles and nearly two hours of running seemed out-of-reach.

Following the sage advice of other running veterans, I followed a specific schedule of runs leading up to the event, but woke up that day honestly not knowing how I would do. I relied on the excitement and energy of the crowds and the pace of other runners (big thanks also for the cheers and encouragement from the event organizers and spectators). The miles went by faster than I expected, and yes the legs and feet were pretty sore the next few days, but I beat my goal time and learned to have faith in myself and my training.

The way I felt months ago is the same way I feel today about my next big target: a full marathon. The challenge sounds enormous. But these milestones have proven that my apprehension is expected but should not be a barrier to setting and working towards big goals.

– Karl

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