Hey babes! I hope you are having a wonderful week!

I know it can be easy to forget, or in case you didn’t even know… YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS! I know its scary and I know that it will be really tough, but you can do it!! This is something that I forget all the time, but that I was reminded of this morning.

This morning I ran 10 miles. Now, if you knew me (especially in college), you’d know that this sounds ridiculous. If you would have asked me couple months ago I would have told you that I am not a runner. I wouldn’t have even told you I was a bad runner because that would have been an understatement. I ran 5 miles in high school one time and that was the most I had ran in my 24 years of life. During my 4 years of competing gymnastics in college I never once passed the running test (and literally felt like I was going to throw up every time I had to do it), I was always in the slowest group for our runs, and wanted to cry every time our strength and conditioning coach had us run.

Even up until about two and a half months ago the furthest I could run was like 2 miles (and that was really hard for me). But these past couple months I have been working REALLY HARD on getting better at running. I have really grown to love running because it is the BIGGEST stress reliever for me. I have set running goals for my self each week and have accomplished them all. Two and a half weeks ago my goal was 8 miles and I BARLEY made it. I had to stop a couple times and was about in tears at the end because my legs hurt so bad, but I did it. That was the first real experience I had that made me realize I could do hard things. I never thought I would be able to run that far, and I actually did it at a faster pace than my 4 mile run a couple weeks prior.

So fast forward to now, my goal for this week was to run 10 miles. Yesterday I was thinking about putting off my run and going to the beach with Griffey today. There wasn’t another day this week that I was going to ave time to run, so it probably wasn’t going to happen. I was kinda disappointed in myself, but I knew that run was going to be really hard and I was dreading it. Well, laying in bed last night the guilt was getting to me…I remembered that I made a commitment to myself that I was going to do this run. As much as I didn’t want to do the run, once I decide in my head that I am going to do something, nothing will stand in my way of doing it (this is usually a really great thing, but also makes me really stubborn haha). So I made plans to do my run in the morning knowing that I couldn’t let myself down.

The first mile was great. I felt so good and was ready for 9 more. Half way into the second mile I reached what I like to call “Hell Hill” haha. Because it really is. Its great running down, but not so great on the way up. Its about 3/4 of a mile steep uphill. Usually when I get to the this hill (or any hill for that matter) I tell myself that I can just walk up it because it is too hard for me. Well, not this time. I wasn’t going to stop and walk a mile into ten mile run. I was done with the excuses of telling myself I couldn’t do it. I ran all the way up “Hell Hill” for the first time. As part of of my 10 mile route I had to run that 2 mile loop one more time. And guess what, I made it all the way up that time too. Even only four miles into my run I was feeling very successful! I had made it 4 miles without stopping AND I got all the way up the hill TWICE.

After getting up the hill the first time, I felt like a BOSS. But after getting up the second time it made me realize that I had been too easy on myself. Before today I told myself excuses so that I didn’t have to push myself. I told myself I couldn’t do something and I believed it. The truth is I could run up that hill (was it easy? No. But it was possible), I had just been too scared to try. It made me realize for the first time in long time that I CAN DO HARD THINGS!

The next couple miles were long and hard. My legs were starting to hurt and the negativity was starting to get inside my head. I knew that if I wanted to get through all 10 miles that I needed to get the negativity out and fill it with positive vibes only. Whenever a negative thought came into my head I told myself, “I CAN DO HARD THINGS!”. And although this didn’t make the run easy, it made it a lot easier than when I was complaining about my legs hurting.

I had gotten through the first few miles without stopping and began to compete with myself on how long I could go without stopping to walk (during my 8 mile run I made it 4 miles and felt insanely proud of myself!). As each mile would come I would tell myself, “OK, just one more mile then you can stop and walk”. I would get to the next mile and think the same thing- this also made me realize that up until now I had been too easy on myself. Because I would tell myself I wasn’t a good runner I set really low expectations for myself that didn’t push me like I knew I could be pushed.

After a long time of running I had gotten to mile 8 without stopping. It was then that I decided I was going to make it all the way to mile 10. Now, at this point my legs were KILLING me, I could feel pain in every step I took and knew I needed to kick it up a notch with the affirmations if I was going to make it. The last two miles (I kid you not) I shouted, out loud, “I CAN DO HARD THINGS!!!” I know I sound like a crazy person to any one who could hear me and probably looked like one too because my pace has really slowed down and my legs were pretty much numb haha, but I didn’t even care! I knew I needed to do whatever it would take to get me those 10 miles. At mile 9.5 I was trekking up the last hill and was going so slow I’m positive if someone was walking next to me they would have passed me, but I WAS NOT GOING TO GIVE UP! NOT NOW. That last half mile was so dang hard I was holding in tears. My whole body wanted to stop, but my mind wouldn’t let me. I could barley pick up one foot and put it in front of the other. I know it sounds like I’m being dramatic but I literally felt like I couldn’t make it. BUT I DID. I made it all 10 miles (without stopping)!!

As soon as I hit 10 miles and began to walk I was instantly grateful that I hadn’t stopped to walk during my run because I would not have been able to keep going. My legs were JELLO. I seriously felt like I didn’t have any control over my legs haha. I took a couple minutes to walk back to my house (very slowly I might add). Once I got home I started stretching and preparing for my long recovery haha.

I know this post kinda seems like I am just complaining about how hard it was haha, but this run really made me realize that I could do hard things!!! This run was SO hard!! One of the hardest things I have ever done. And to be honest with you before I started I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it. But I did make it. And you can to! And I don’t necessarily mean running 10 miles, but whatever your goal is, even if it seems really tough, you can do it! You are so much more capable than you think you are. You never realize how strong you are until you try and you realize that you are a lot stronger than you thought!

So this week, do something hard. Whether its going to the gym when you haven’t been in forever and it just seems so overwhelming, or if its writing a novel that you have been wanting to write for so long but haven’t gotten up the courage to do it yet. DO IT. YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!! Forget the excuses and start making things happen! I think you will be very surprised with how much more you were able to do compared to what you thought you could do.

I love you all!! Have a great week!

XO, Kenz