The Long Way Home

“You live but once, you might as well be amusing.” ~Coco Chanel

Do you ever get that feeling that you know you want to write but you have no idea what you are going to say?  That’s how I feel at this moment.  I feel like I’ve been writing this post in my head all week, but when I sit to write, nothing is actually coming out.

My workout schedule is going well and I have managed to follow it for two weeks.  Now that I’m running more and going to the gym less I know I need to work more on my stretching and strength training.  I neglected it this week, and after my run today I can definitely feel it.

I started talking up the fact that I signed up for the Baltimore Half Marathon to some friends at work and a lot of people seem really interested.  A few have even signed up already.  It really shows me how much I have grown during my running and since the summer.

6 months ago, if someone had said something about going running with me or running a race with me I would have laughed and tried to figure out some way to get out of it.  I would have been too embarrassed about my size, my ability, and my speed to even contemplate running near someone I know.  Even today when I decided to run this afternoon instead of tomorrow (too busy, more snow) I ran in broad daylight in my tight running pants singing along (rather softly) to my music.  I was super slow with all the snow and ice, I wore an old ratty t-shirt, and sweat was dripping down my face and I just didn’t care.

And the fact is, why should I?  I’m doing this for me, not for anyone else.  Sure, the more the merrier.  I love when I hear that I have motivated someone to run or workout, and I am still desperately searching for a (non-speedy) running buddy, but that’s not why I am doing what I do.  I have no problem being friend or a motivator or a cheerleader for anyone who needs it.  I don’t know what I would have done without mine.  But the days are gone where I always need someone to hold my hand and go with me as I jumped into the unknown abyss.  I no longer feel the need for the outside reassurance that I so constantly craved.

I stepped on the scale today for the first time since I hit my 50 pound mark.  And guess what.  I’m still at the 50 pound mark.  This would have bothered me before, but not now.  I know my clothes are getting looser, even the next size down for some of my items is too big.  The number on the scale doesn’t define me like it once did.  While it took me a long time to figure it out, that’s not what this running journey is about anyway.

Every day I remember why I started running in the first place.  August, and the summer in general, had been tough and one day I had had enough.  I was depressed, and moody, and couldn’t find joy in even the smallest things.  I didn’t want to feel like that anymore.  So I went for a run.  Or really, not even a run, as I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile without stopping for a break.  And while I didn’t get serious about it until January, it quite literally saved my life, and continues to do so every time I venture out.  The first mile is always the hardest, but once I hit it, I feel like there is no stopping me.

I know I’m still super slow.  I know I don’t look like all the other runners out there.  And frankly, I just don’t care.  Months ago I would have.  Months ago I wouldn’t have even thought to run when other runners, “real runners” might be out there.  I didn’t want to embarrass myself.  But with the smiles and waves I got today as I trudged along through the snow and slush, I know no one is judging me except for me.

And right now, I’m feeling pretty fabulous.

100 Mile Challenge Miles Completed: 24

Weeks to the Baltimore Half Marathon: 35

Current Weekly Miles: 9

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