I felt so good after two miles that I decided to keep going. I was flying. I decided to go six miles. I get to three miles once I hit the famous Castaways on North Avenue Beach. Once I turn around and run home, that's six miles. I've done it many times with no problems at all.
While I walked, I watched other people run past me (struggling, but still going). I wondered how I could ever become a better runner if I couldn't even handle this stupid wind. How could I ever run 13.1 miles? Every time I've tried to increase my mileage in the past, something bad happened (I pulled my sartorius muscle, I hurt my lower back so badly that I couldn't walk [not from running, but it affected it nonetheless], or I became too busy or stressed.). I was stewing in negativity while walking. I quickened my pace to a run again, only to be pushed back by the wind. I was panting. I forced myself to go up a bridge, one foot in front of the other, only to give up and start walking again before I hit the top. Worse thoughts entered my head. Maybe I'm still too tired from yoga. But yoga was two days ago. I'm pathetic. More people ran past me. I became more discouraged. I'm a failure. I'm never going to run a half marathon. I'm slow. I suck.
Finally, after another person passed me, I started to run again. I passed the person who just passed me, and I veered off of the Lakeshore path, under the Belmont bridge, and out of the wind. I ran the last 1.1 miles home without stopping (except for at a traffic light). I put one foot in front of the other quickly, even though my lungs burned and I wanted to stop. I made it home. I looked at my phone and saw that, even with my walking, I made it from start to finish in under 60 minutes. I was getting faster. Suddenly, I was hopeful again.
I stretched, rolled, showered, iced, and simultaneously made myself a smoothie with fresh coffee, a frozen banana, vanilla whey protein powder, natural peanut butter, and cinnamon. Then, I volunteered at PAWS for a few hours while digesting what had happened to me that morning (and my smoothie).
I am going to run a half marathon this year whether I have to walk or crawl. I'll be back out on the path next weekend, wind or no wind. That's the only way to get better.
I hope that there are others who can relate to this story and put on their shoes and run despite the challenges!