Just a few weeks ago I turned thirty-six. I think that one things I love about getting older is that I’m still learning new things about myself.
For my whole life I’ve identified myself as someone who’s not athletic, but more so as someone who doesn’t have any confidence that I could possibly become athletic (and actually probably shouldn’t even bother to try). I ran my first race, a 4K, last June and a 5K in July, but I can’t say that I liked either experience, the races were hard, I felt fat and out of shape and like I didn’t belong. I wasn’t a really a runner, after all, like those other people I read about online who run and for some weird reason seemed to like it.
I have tried to enjoy running, but really I’ve just tolerated it. Okay fine, I actually hated it. For the past five years I’ve started and failed a dozen attempts at running. With each attempt, I’ve easily found a dozen excuses as to why I couldn’t run. Last month, though, I joined a run training program on a whim and a prayer and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and my confidence in my entire life. And yes that sounds melodramatic, but it’s not meant to be. It’s just true.
I’ve learned so much about running, my stride, and my form. From barely being able to run one minute without DYING just a few weeks ago, I ran a 5K in the very hilly Knoxville Marathon yesterday in 35:47.3. You guys? Sure I was happy when I crossed the finish line, but I probably could have run at least another 1/2 mile. The race was fun and rewarding and inspiring and a whole bunch more of those positive and encouraging words.
I told Carson about it when I got home, “There were kids running the race with their moms! Do you think you’d ever run a race with me?”
He looked at me skeptically and said, “Is this like one of those April Fools Day jokes?”
Which really? Coming from me, Miss I’m-Not-Athletic, all this running nonsense does sound like an April Fools Day joke.
It’s not, though. I am a runner and my ultimate goal is to run a half-marathon.