What I learned about writing when I ran a half marathon

It's hard for me to share things with people because I am an introvert. I don't want to talk about personal things because I don't want to intrude on other people's lives or offend. I like listening to other people talk about their lives and tell their stories, but I find it challenging to talk about myself and my interests. This is because I am afraid of failure. 

If I keep it quiet and I fail, then the stakes are not quite as high. 

If I don't tell anyone and I fail, then nobody else would know but me. I can't be embarrassed by my failure. 

If I stay in my comfort zone, then everything is predictable and I don't ever have to change. 

Because I keep on finding out throughout this process. Change is hard. 

I learned about change when I decided to run a half marathon. I debated telling other people about it because: what if I get injured? What if I'm sick that day? What if I find out I can't do it? What if I embarrass myself by not running in the allotted time? What if I'm the last one to finish? I had so many what ifs. 

When I started telling people though, their responses surprised me. So many people told me "Wow! I wish I could do that." or "That's amazing! How do you find the time to do it?" or I even found people who were secretly working on completing their first half marathon too and we were able to support and cheer each other on. 

When I tell people, I'm building my base of support. I am taking advantage of my fears and using them to motivate me instead of preventing me from achieving my goals. 

I used to preface any discussions of running with "I'm not a runner, but..." I'm not a runner and I started with 5K. I'm not particularly fast, but I can run from start to finish without stopping. I'm not a runner but I can run a 10K. I'm not particularly fast, but I can also run 10K without stopping. When I prepped for my half marathon, I didn't go out on the first day and attempt to run 10K, I built it up slowly over the course of 4 months. 

After a month, I realized that 5K runs were getting easier. After two months, 10K runs were manageable. After three months, it's the 15K+ runs that were the most challenging but 10K was just another run. 

I finished that half marathon on June 18, 2016. I followed my plan of running between water stations and only walking through them as breaks. I took my time, didn't try to catch up to the pack. I finished 56/57 but I finished it. 

One of my colleagues told me "The race is your prize. You've earned it!" I thought that it was a great way to think about races and whatever challenges that may come your way. It's the process and what you achieved. I ran the course, I crossed the finish line, I'm a runner. 

Even if it takes you 10 years to write a novel as opposed to 1 year, you're still a writer. 

Now time to write.