Progress is progress, no matter how small.

“We all have dreams, in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.”~Jesse Owens

Today was Color Run day.  My original goal was to be able to run the whole thing.  Guess what?  I didn’t.  Not even close.  I did manage to run more than half of it, but once I started, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do the whole thing.  Months ago, this would have made me feel like a failure and give up before I even started.  But not today.

This is the first *real* 5K where I felt like I actually showed some progress. It was hard.  And my feet and legs hurt.  But it didn’t feel like it took forever.  It felt so much easier (not easy, just easier) than the other ones I have done.  And I didn’t immediately want to die afterwards.  Sit down, yes.  Die, no.  And my, oh, my, the amount of pride I felt in myself when I finished it was absolutely priceless.  Just when I think I can’t accomplish something, I surprise myself.

Just to show you what I mean by progress, here are my 5K times from the last four 5Ks including the one from today.

September 5K: 59 Minutes
October 5K: 66 Minutes (don’t even ask)
November 5K (1): 51 Minutes (around my block for World Run Day, but still a *paid for* 5K)
November 5K (2): 41 Minutes

In a month, I have improved 25 minutes!  I mean, that is amazing for me.  Today, even with run/walking, I averaged a 13:33 minute mile.  I know to some, that’s not much, but to me, that is everything.  I am constantly feeling like I am getting no where with this running thing.  I don’t feel faster when I run at home, my weight is pretty stagnant, every muscle in my body still hurts every time I run.  But today, the numbers didn’t lie.  And while I may not be a *real runner*, while the idea of running anything other than a 5K makes me shudder in fear (10K gasp!, half marathon eek!), I am getting better.  I am moving forward.  I am doing this.

And the best part is I am doing it myself.  I do have an amazing support system, don’t get me wrong.  I have friends who cheer me on at the finish line (Hi Doe!), friends who sign up for every race with me so I don’t have to do it alone (Hi Sara!), friends who run marathons, but still know how much it takes for me to complete a 5K and cheer for me harder than anyone else (Hi Jean!) and a husband who kicks me out of bed when the alarm goes off because he knows I’ll be crabbier if I don’t get up to go run (Hi Mike!). But for the most part, it’s just me, out there at 5 am running alone, lost with my music, with no one to push me to make me keep going.  And I do keep going.  Because this is something I need.  This is something that is saving me.  With every step I take forward I gain a renewed confidence in my self, a new reason to keep living.  And even when I have to take some time off, there is no one step forward, two steps back, because no matter what, I will continue to go forward.

I realize when I first started running I was running away from something.  Running away from bad decisions that I had recently made.  Running away from a life I didn’t want anymore.  Running away from myself.

Today was a turning point.  I no longer feel like I am running away from something.  I know that I am running toward something, and I’m not slowing down or giving up any time soon.

Miles accomplished in the 100 Mile Challenge: 66.75

Miles to go in the 100 Mile Challenge: 33.25

Weeks Left: 6


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