I will always remember the first half marathon that I ran, which was in the Spring of 2012 at U of I. At that first half marathon, I thought it seemed so intimidating to run 13.1 miles. Towards the end of the race, and specifically when I was finishing that last mile, I had to run UPHILL... At the end of the 12th mile I was thinking, "Why am I doing this?" I felt discouraged; I was running with my head down. Then, this man who was just a spectator and encourager on the sidelines looked me STRAIGHT in the eyes and said, "Girl, don't you run TO it. You run THROUGH it!" I picked my head up, pushed myself, and ran harder. He started clapping so hard at my head lifting up and my increased speed. And, that moment has forever been etched in my memories. His encouragement was life-changing really. Not only did I finish that race strong, but I ran more half marathons and even ran 20 miles during the time I spent 18-weeks training for a marathon (before a stress fracture pulled me out).
That moment of encouragement has become a constant piece of advice that I have continued to use as encouragement for myself. Sometimes "dissertating" progress is slow and I think about about the finish line. BUT, that's not how to run a race.
For all of us on the final leg of our graduate school journey
Don't run to it; Run THROUGH it!