This is gonna be challenging, but great!
1st mile mark
This ain’t so bad! I’ve got this!
2nd mile mark
What do you mean I have to do this for 11.1 more miles in November? *gasp*
3rd mile mark
You can’t even get through a 5K without walking some of it. You are an idiot for signing up for the half marathon. What were you thinking? *gasp*
3.25 mile mark
*DING* “You are at your half way point on your 6.5 mile run today. Great job!”
Just call Disney and defer to next year. It’s better not to humiliate yourself when the golf cart comes and picks your slow ass up in front of your friends and family. *gasp, gasp, gasp*
Furthermore, why are you even trying? This is stupid. Just walk, Kate. Just walk this portion. Your run/walk times are getting slower anyway. Just give up.
4th mile mark
Just give up, Kate. You have no business being out here. That’s it. Who cares if the timer says it’s time to run again, just walk it out…wait, what are you doing?
5th mile mark
You’re still doing this? WTF?
*DING*”You’ve just finished your fastest mile, congratulations!”
6th mile mark
“I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.”
6.5 mile mark
Damn straight. *small celebratory weeping followed by gratuitous sweat picture*
You see what happens in the dialogue from mile two to mile three? The word “I” turns into “You.” I seriously want to punch the inner drill instructor who just yells at me and tells me to quit. I’ve been thinking about this the last few days. Why do I do this to myself? (The yelling, not the running.) It’s almost like I need to break myself to rise above another challenge.
I ran into this same voice when completing my first Warrior Dash in July. In one of the moments I’m most ashamed and most proud of, I came to this obstacle:
When the obstacle first opened in the morning, the mud and water only came up to your ankles. By the time I finished the OMGWTFBBQ last mile mountain climb around 1:00 PM, the mud was freezing and up to your waist. The ways out were brown, 75 degree incline Slip’N Slides that laughed at you when you fell back into the pit ass first. Despite watching people jumping into the mud pit of despair and coming out with one shoe, or half a soul, I was like, LETS DO THIS, and jumped right in. The way down was hella fun. Then…
Cue sad, slow-motion apocalyptic music montage. There were tears and twenty goddamn minutes of me softly braying that I was never, ever going to emerge on the other side (or any side) of this pit of death.
WHY THE HELL HASN’T ANYONE THROWN IN A ROPE? OH DEAR GOD NO, PLEASE NOT ANOTHER WAVE OF PEOPLE JUMPING IN AT THE SAME TI…OW, YOU ARE STANDING ON MY LEG. THAT’S MY LEG. YES, MY LEG. NO, I’M JUST STANDING HERE CRYING MUD TEARS BECAUSE I WANT TO THAT’S WHY! THEY WILL FIND MY BODY IN A FEW DAYS. TELL MY KIDS I LOVE THEM.
Why, Kate? Why couldn’t you emerge from the shoe and soul sucking place of dead dreams and leaky confidence?
Because in there, the drill instructor won.
I wasn’t good enough. I was too fat. No one wants to help me. No one has the strength to pull up 285lbs.
But, Kate, you just climbed over THIS obstacle:
(And you went OVER it, not through it and ripped the skin off of both of your knees to do it when the drop became more of a slide, but NEVERMIND THAT.)
So yeah, in the pit, none of that mattered. No accomplishments. None of the work that I did to get there. I was defeated. Some part of me really worried they would end the race, everyone would go home and I’d have to spend the night in the cold water as the mud souls of fallen warriors and nasty mismatched shoes infected my skinned knees.
I was devastated.
Then, something happened.
There was one side of the pit that no one dared to climb. It was taller than the rest, and very unstable. I spied a Kate-sized foot hold and looked up. (Size 11W shoes, bitches.)
“Come on, we’ve got you.”
You can’t. You are too heavy. You’ll just pull them in. You can’t lift yourself out. Don’t keep staring at that foothold. Accept your fate.
“You sure? I’m kinda heavy.”
“We got you.”
I stuck my foot in the sloshy side of the pit, reached up my hands, jammed my knee against another small outcropping, pushed as they pulled, lifted the foot, smooshed my body against the wall and continued to push. What seemed like an eternity, but was probably only ten seconds, felt incredible as I pushed and was lifted by these Warriors uknown up and out of the unforgiving tomb.
Fuck you, inner Drill Instructor. Yell all you want. I know there will be hard days. I know I will sometimes fail, but I’ll be damned if I ever give up again.