Train to Keep Going

I would not call myself a runner. Although I have been running regularly since I was a sophomore in college. Which sounds like no big deal, but this is the girl who cried the first time she ran a real mile since it had always been such a dramatic battle in high school. This is the girl that used to look at cardio like a death sentence.

Not anymore, not for a long time.

And despite running plenty of miles each week, I still don't think I'm a runner. Maybe because I spend most of my time thinking, just a little longer, just a little farther. Which I'm pretty sure "real" runners don't do. I imagine those guys just glide along like gazelles enjoying every unlabored breath, and thinking they were made to move that fast. I was not.

I can run though.

It took nearly four years, but last year I decided to run my first real honest-to-goodness race. It was timed, it was through downtown Montpelier, it was packed, and it even came with a free t-shirt. It's one of those ever-loved Montpelier traditions that everyone knows about, so naturally I was all, I'm in, but holy crap I'm slow.

At that point I was getting ready to move to Burlington, about to get totally ditched by The Asshole, and only working out for my own sake (you know, not pageant-style.) So, I was running regularly, and doing just a bit of weight training. Nothing serious.

Well, I ran, and I was slow. But I did it. I ran a race. I finished it. I didn't puke or die, or even dramatically trip. It was amazing. It was such a genuine feeling of pure accomplishment.

So, I knew I had to run it again this year. While my cardio has been more intentional (hi, Platform) and more rare (hi, increased muscle tone,) around April I started running with purpose again.

To no one's surprise, I still did not love it.

But I did it, and I did it with the intention of being stronger, faster, and just a few seconds better.

Last Thursday, I ran the race.

I spent the whole day with an anxious stomach, thanks to my self-imposed goals. I was so keyed up that I nearly forgot to grab my bib. I say nearly forgot but what I mean is I came back from getting coffee and saw the tent at the Statehouse and thought, "oh crap, oh crap, gotta go get my bib." I also ate a cremee that day, which...was for business research. (And it was also a massive mistake because I had not had ice cream since probably December. But whatever. TMI.)

Anyways. I ran.

It was incredibly hot. It was the largest group on record. And it was so much hillier than I remembered. But again, I finished. I didn't puke, or die, or trip. I got the free t-shirt.

And I cut my time by 1:20.

I was slower than some of my best training runs. I took more breaks than I wanted to. I felt like I was sluggish beyond belief. I struggled through most of it because of the unreal heat and sun.

I did it.

I'm still no runner. I went for a run last night, longer than the race, into a new part of town, and I still kept thinking wow, don't like this. 

But. There is this wave of accomplishment, of thankfulness, of YAS KWEEN, that washes over me with every mile, at the top of every hill, whenever I feel that push to just go a little farther, for a little longer. Running is hard. For me, it's hard. I know that race is nothing for some runners. I know the run I did last night is a warm-up for some runners.

That's okay.

You guys, running is literally just about taking one more step, getting just a little bit farther.

Nothing has been more in-line with my life, and the process of moving through each of my struggles than running. It literally propels me forward. I forces me to move, to push through it, to go farther even though it is difficult. While I may never be a runner, I absolutely going to keep running.

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