Run, Forrest, Run!

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” ~John Bingham

So, it seems like maybe, just maybe, it’s actually getting easier.  The running thing, that is.  I don’t know what it is, but my last two runs were really good.  Did I just want to stay in bed when the alarm went off?  Absolutely!  Did I feel like I was going to die during my Couch to 5K workouts?  You bet!  Did I feel absolutely amazing when I actually finished? Yes Yes Yes!  I feel like I have finally gotten my pacing down and even my uphill running didn’t bother me like it usually does.  My legs felt lighter and I felt like I could go for longer that I normally do.  All in all, I felt like maybe I was an actual runner, and not someone pretending to be one.

I’m not sure what the change was.  Maybe my body is finally getting used to the early mornings and the pounding of the pavement.  Maybe it’s the stretching I’m doing every night to help with the plantar fasciitis.  Maybe it’s the fact that I feel like I’m feeling getting somewhere with this running thing.  I just finished week 4 of couch to 5K.  Every other time I started this (cough 4 times) I never got past week 4 day 1 before I decided to quit running.

But maybe, just maybe, it’s because I have stopped putting so much pressure on myself about the whole thing.  A few weeks ago, when I was naive enough to think I knew what I was doing, I ran a 10 minute mile.  Of course, after that, I could barely walk a 20 minute mile because my body was soooooo tired.  When I couldn’t recreate that 10 minute mile every time I walked out of the house I started to get discouraged and really felt like giving up.  I was never going to beat that 10 minutes mile, so why try?  But, why do I have to “beat” any kind of time?  Why can’t I just run and enjoy myself?  In the grand scheme of the world, is the time of my mile important?  I have short legs and a short stride.  I am never going to be “fast”.  And this is OK.

Another example: A few days ago I started to get really nervous about The Color Run coming up in Baltimore on the 17th.  My goal was to be able to run the whole thing.  Now, I’m thinking I won’t quite be there yet.  I started to feel defeated and, quite honestly, like a failure.  But why?  Am I not going to attempt to run the whole thing?  Of course I am.  Am I going to be going at a snail’s pace?  Of course I am.  But I don’t have to feel bad if I have to walk part of it.  This whole “thing” is a process.  It’s not something I simply wanted to accomplish, check off a list, and then move on to something else.  I actually want to be in this for the long haul.  I want to be able to make this an integral part of my life for as long as I can.  And, you know what?  3.1 miles is 3.1 miles whether I walk it or run it.  It’s still 3.1 miles more than if I just stayed on the couch.

I have also been feeling defeated because the numbers on the scale ARE NOT moving.  It seems like no matter what I do, it really likes the number I’m on right now.  But then I saw a picture of me taken almost a year and a half ago.  Before I even considered working out.  Before I could run more than a minute without almost throwing up.  Before I could last more than 3 minutes on the elliptical (I kid you not, my actual first workout on the elliptical lasted 3 minutes and I was dying by the end of it).  I put it next to a picture I took on Sunday before my run.

And with this picture I realized that I really don’t care about the number on the scale or the number of my pants size.  Even when I don’t think I am getting anywhere, I am.  A picture it worth 1,000 words.  And I feel like most of mine, in this moment, have to do with feeling awesome for what I have accomplished.

Miles to go in the 100 Mile Challenge: 46.25

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