A few days ago, during one of my morning runs, I was complaining to one of my running buddies about how tired I am and how I feel like I will never finish my PhD. She told me: "Look at it like the last 6 miles of a marathon, just keep going, slow but steady. It's hard but you'll make it to the finish line." Since that day, every time I start to despair I remember her words.
Now, I've never run a full marathon but I use my second half marathon in Philadelphia for that analogy. Geez was it brutal! The weather! It was basically one of the worse weathers you can ask for in a race. It was hot and it was humid. The only good thing was that at least it was overcast and so the sun didn't kill us. Ran this half with two of my good friends. One of them was supposed to join me at my first half ever in Pittsburgh back in May, unfortunately she hurt herself. But cause they're badass they still drove and cheered me on that day. Back to Philly though! Didn't really have a time goal for this race. I just wanted to finish it. And that I did!!! And although the time was definitely not good, I felt great! The most important thing... I trusted my training. I trusted all those hours I spent with my friends putting ourselves through long summer runs. Thanks to that training I knew when to drink water, when to take some Gu, whether my stomach could handle salt tablets, and that when I felt like stopping in mile 11, I could do two more miles.
So going back to finishing my PhD, I will trust my training. I will remember that it is about the learning I am doing on the way, about the personal growth during these last few years. And that although sometimes it feels like I need to stop, I still have a few miles in me.
Running my friends... not just about training your body but also your mind and learning to look at challenges as opportunities