Disclaimer: As a Gone for a Run Ambassador, I received a complimentary virtual race entry. I was not compensated financially for my participation in this virtual race. As always, all opinions are my own.
This past weekend Gone for a Run hosted yet another virtual race, the Sole Sister Run Virtual 7 Mile Race. When Gone for a Run first contacted me about this race and I looked at my training calendar, I thought the distance would be perfect for my last long run before this coming weekend’s half marathon. And there’s nothing like a virtual race and a medal awaiting you at the finish line (in this case, at home), to help motivate you to push yourself as much as you can during a training run.
On Saturday, I decided to head out to the trail nearby our house. While the trail is fairly hilly, I wanted to challenge myself a bit after completing a number of runs on the treadmill recently. I also found that while training for last summer’s half marathon that hill training paid off when I ran on a flat course, and since I’ll be running the same course again this coming Sunday, I wanted to squeeze in one last long run using hills. And while running has been getting progressively more difficult as my pregnant belly continues to grow, I’m still up for challenging myself.
The first mile of my run was probably the hardest, as has been the case for most of my recent runs. It seems like it takes my body quite awhile to get into a good running rhythm now, and for me to mentally be able to tell the difference between the baby readjusting himself while I’m running vs. actually needing to use the bathroom.
About a mile into my 7 mile run, I began to wonder whether I’d need to turn around in order to use the bathroom. My belly felt really heavy for the entire first mile, and the baby was certainly pushing on my bladder. This run seemed like it was going to be both a physical and a mental challenge. However, I passed an extremely friendly runner on the trail at just the right moment, when I was highly doubting my ability to complete all 7 of my planned miles. Unlike some of the other runners and gym patrons that I’ve encountered while pregnant, this woman was the complete opposite. Not only did she have a huge smile on her face, but she also pointed at my shirt (I was wearing my “Running For Two” top), and gave me a thumbs up. Her friendliness was just what I needed to help motivate me to keep going.
To the fellow runner who gave me a thumbs up and a huge smile as we passed each other on the trail this am, you made my day! #runchat
— Kathryn (@Dancing2Running) August 29, 2015
After I passed her, I felt like I was one cloud nine. I felt so empowered and felt ready to conquer the world. I pushed forward, and not once more during my 7 mile run did I doubt my ability to finish. And when I got home I was rewarded with one of the best things that a runner can receive: a medal.
That fellow runner had no idea how much her silent encouragement meant to me on Saturday. I normally try to focus on internal motivation, but her sole sister attitude towards me was just the external motivation I needed during my moments of self doubt. And her demonstration of being a sole sister could not have come at a more perfect time, not only when I needed a bit of a pep talk, but of all times, while I was running a sole sister race.
QOTD: When was the last time that a fellow runner helped to motivate and/or support you?