6 months have gone away since I moved to Padua, by myself.
The first three months were really hard. Going from a 3-year(future marriage) relationship to single was hard to accept and even harder to manage.
Alcohol and almost suicidal thoughts were my daily companions.
When I was starting to go out of that blue circle, problems at work came.
Problems inside my family followed. They think I am not doing anything with my life.
* I am a part-time waitress that lives alone and goes to college. What else should I be doing to make them proud of me? I am no superman.
Everything was going down.
I was drowning.
The only thing that kept me motivated was the commitment I made one year ago: beating my personal best at Padua’s half marathon in April.
So yes, running was the only good thing I had and still have at the moment.
I made a pact with myself: finish the half marathon and then you can decide if you still want to live or not.
So I got into it. I tried to…
I used to go out, run 1km (0.62 miles) and feel exhausted.
I would do 3 runs per weeks. 3kms in total. 15kms per months…more or less. That was not gonna take me anywhere.
When April was approaching I decided to go for it with everything I had, so I joined a running group. #bomberun the best team you will ever meet!
My first run with them was amazing. Hard, but amazing.
8kms in 50 minutes.
I will never forget it.
It was the starting point of an adventure that might not come to an end.
That day, I understood that everything was inside my head.
All the times I stopped after the first km wasn’t because I was physically tired but because I wasn’t strong enough to push away my little squeaky voice that yells “you are not good enough, stop trying”
That day I learned that my legs can run for hours, it’s my mind that needs to be trained!
From that day, I haven’t done less than 20 minutes of running.
The day of the race I ran all the distance. 13.1 miles, nonstop.
I went from a 2h 48 minutes record (23/04/2017) to a 2h 18 minutes personal best (22/04/2018)
One year of difference. And this was just the beginning.
One month later (27/05/2018) the personal best becomes 2h 15minutes.
Now I end up the month with 100kms done; I am training for 2 new half marathons and from septmeber, I will officially start training for a full marathon!!!
Some days still suck, family and work problems are still there, but the way I handle them changed.
Once you realize you can go through hell for 2 hours, you understand that you can deal with anything.
A distance runner has 3 main qualities: determination, guts and a lot of craziness.
The qualities that will take me far…on the track and in life.
Now I believe in myself and soon I will show everybody what I am made of!
This is my suggestion to anyone going through a bad moment: find your rhythm and enjoy the ride.
It doesn’t mean you have to run too. Try cycling, yoga or hiking. Get up that couch, leave your phone at home and go out for an adventure. It won’t solve your problems but it will give you back the control of something really important to start finding those answers: yourself!
Good luck and remember: “if you are going through hell, keep going!”