Posted on August 01 2019
Amira is founder of GalsOutLoud - a new podcast and community for and about women.
Signing up for a marathon is a big challenge, huge. One so big you’re meant to start training a year in advance and give yourself and body as much time as possible to prepare, so 2019 here I come, or so I thought when I signed up to run the Brighton Marathon. I’m by no means a well trained runner so I knew this would require a lot of mental strength to get into shape. I went running every two days and had PT twice a week, I lost weight and I felt that I was on track. But ‘Boom’ - one day out on a run, my back went and I was out. End of training. I couldn't move or sit. This was weeks before the new year and I kept telling myself that I would still be able to make it and get back into training in time to run the marathon. Then the new year came and I was told to stay away from running. Now I’m worried guys. Will I be able to make it? What will my friends think if I don’t? It would be such a let down to so many people and most of all to myself. You can see where I’m going with this right? It’s this vicious circle where you tell yourself over and over again how crap you are. And now the little (actually pretty big voice) inside of me keeps telling me that this is my chance to bow out, to quit, to just let it go. Damn that voice though, while I can’t put my body under the strain of running a full marathon I can damn well run 10K and so I signed myself up for a park run.
Training slowly under the advice of professionals I slowly got my confidence back. I needed this first and foremost for myself. I’m not saying it was easy, far from it. On the day of the park run it was cold and so windy I thought of any plausible excuse to go back home and call it a day. But I pushed that voice down and thought of what it means to me to finish 10K. I stood in the crowd of people who all looked so excited to get started, I was one of them. The park run had the option for 5K or 10K finish. As the starting whistle was blown runners dispersed into different running rhythms and while I’m still struggling with getting my breathing under control I can see the first runners far, far away running down a hill. I’m thinking great at least down and not up… but I’m wrong, so wrong. Where something goes down it has to come back up and it did. Down the hill fine, but then we are faced with a hill steeper than the decline. It’s so unfair! After the first round, I thought 5K finish might be fine, especially after the second round of running up that hill. I… CAN’T... BREATH….No one would even know, the medals are the same and I could just lie. Right?! There is just so much you go through when running, will I make it, can I make it, I’m not good enough, I’m good enough, what should I eat after this! It’s hard to keep pushing and trusting in just you, no one really can make you do anything. This is all you and how much you are prepared to push.
Sometimes in life, with our busy work days, it’s hard to take time for achievements, a win is a win, something that is just for us and doesn’t really benefit anyone else. ‘Me-time’ does not just mean take a bath and put on candles, ‘Me-time’ to me means to do something that matters to me and no one else. I have always believed that almost anything is achievable if you believe you can. Your mindset dictates what you can achieve and how far you will go so if you can cut your mind b.s. you can do anything. This sounds easy but trust me I know it’s easier said than done. The closer I got to finishing the last round of the run the more aware I became that my body was by no means ready to do 10K. But it didn’t matter because my mind was and so I pushed through all the doubts and jumped all the insecurity hurdles to complete 10K in an hour, to pass that finish line running, not walking. I was exhausted and cold but I felt so incredibly powerful having pushed myself through this run. It really was a run against myself, a challenge not letting myself drown in self doubt and insecurities. You’ve got this! If you want it, you will do it. Trust yourself!
Amira is wearing her Gibson Girl 7/8 Tux leggings
You can find out all about Parkrun here