Since the start of my running ‘career’, my debut being in 1993, which happens to coincide with day one of ARMY boot camp, I had never had much desire to log long distances. Over the past year, I have developed this obsession with conquering my own fears of failure, removing self imposed limits, and setting out to do things I thought, for me, were impossible. I just had to start, I had to be brave enough to take that step… If you remember, on October 23rd, I did my first Half Marathon. My chip time 2:42:22, a good effort for not having the proper training and thinking that new shoes and orthotics wouldn’t play into any issues while running 13.1, which incidentally, was about 6 miles longer than I had ever run before. As I saw some of my friends post their times, for some reason, I began feeling a little embarrassed about my finish time, especially when everyone I know (and who ran on Sunday) finished anywhere from 15-45minutes before me… Of course I had to remind myself again, not to compare myself to others, simply focus on my accomplishments. Seems to be a theme for me, but my race is my race and I am happy for all those who finish their race, regardless of how fast or not fast in your opinion it may be!
So the other day, Halloween actually, I ran for the first time since the half. I felt great – it’s amazing how my mindset has changed… the difference between facing 13.1 and 3.1 – I know it’s not rocket science, but I really started to push a little harder… I looked at my splits 9:38, 9:59, 9:37 (I guess I was starting to slack on the 2nd mile) it really makes me think about how much our minds play with us. I made a point of not looking at my Garmin, I didn’t want my mind to tell me to slow down, I just wanted to feel the run… Total time: 30:10 which is good, it’s not a PR it’s not under 30 but you know what, I felt really awesome and that my friends, is why I run. I FELT great. I was owning my run. It didn’t matter what was happening, I was happy, I was feeling free and empowered and like a rockstar in my personal world of Guitar Hero, I was Randy Rhodes (back when he was on the rails of the crazy train that is…not know obviously- R.I.P.)
We all have points whether we are trying to lose weight, increase our strength, agility, or just keep fit, where we look at the person next to us and think, Why can’t I be that thin, fast, strong, or whatever. Now, I don’t want to lecture on owning our pace and not comparing ourselves to others, that was my last post. I just felt like I got out there and ran for me without expectation, with out a plan, just laced up and hit the road and it rejuvenated me, it brought me this empowerment. Sure you may be sitting there reading this and thinking, a 9:45 avg? Is she even serious? What a turtle! (Ok, if you are seriously thinking that stop reading my blog and move on) BUT that feeling I had, it was almost indescribable (honestly, I felt like I was going faster) how at ease I was and at the same time, pushing myself a little harder… For once (in a long while) I felt like, it’s not about anyone else – it’s about me and the progress I am making, it’s about my goals, my journey, and I am feeling FABULOUS! (I totally read that with the sound of OPRAH saying it…did you?)
It is that feeling, that desire to put out the best I have to offer that reminds me of why I run. In reality, not all runs will feel like that. Just today I had a run that sucked a$$, and I was telling my friend how I wished every run could be awesome, but is it going to stop me from getting out there tomorrow? Heck NO!
Hey as with everything in life, there is the good, the bad and the ugly… sometimes you get out there and the wind is always at your back, your feet are light as feathers and you can set a new PR – other days you feel like your legs are made of lead, you feel like you could pooh yourself at any minute, and you just can’t wait to be done! The ONE thing that make those two completely opposite runs great, you FINISH.
Speaking of which, I have a 5k tomorrow, the CareTeam 5k AIDS Run/Walk… I’d be lying if I said I am not looking to have a PR type run, 29:22 was my best since the baby (and quite honestly probably the best since I started “racing”) ***Correction*** Apparently in Oct of 2009, I ran Lindsey’s Miracle 5k for the Make a Wish Foundation and finished in a speedy 28:57, who knew? *** and I would LOVE to see myself push really hard and do it under 29 (secretly I’d love, love, love a 9mm throughout – but lets be reasonable here…lol). If I don’t PR, well, I won’t be too hard on myself. I know I will have gotten out, helped a charitable cause by running a few miles, and honestly, doing good work by doing what you enjoy…what is better than that? Nothing.