A few months ago, my sister-in-law invited members of the extended family to train for and compete in (aka complete) a half-marathon this spring. If you've been a long time reader of my blog, you know that I have been a (fairly unsuccessful) wannabe runner for a while. At the time of this challenge, I was not running at all. But I took her up on it, ready for a challenge and unwilling to look like a wimp to the rest of the family.
We've used a little learn-how-to-run program that has served us well. Today I was scheduled to run 8 miles for the first time. My running buddy canceled on me. The weather was gloomy. My MP3 player wouldn't load the thing I wanted to listen to. I could think of a thousand things I'd rather do than run. But I left the house when Meggie went down for her nap.
Somewhere during the first mile, it started to rain.
Somewhere during the second mile, my phone (on which I was listening to this) malfunctioned and I was afraid for a few minutes that I would be running the rest of the way in silence. Thankfully that bug worked itself out.
By the end of the third mile I was soaking wet and the rain was coming down hard. I contemplated turning toward home, but my pride kept me going.
During the fourth mile, I realized that I really needed to empty my bladder. And that my hips were starting to hurt.
I felt exuberant when I hit mile 5, knowing that I was more than halfway finished. The rain subsided and the sun came out. I noticed a family of geese drying off in a meadow. I saw a bird that I'd never seen before. I marveled at the gorgeous oak trees in my area and at the amazing world that Heavenly Father created for me and for each of us.
During the sixth mile, I tried hard to take my mind off my full bladder and my sore hips. I noticed that my shoulders and back were feeling tight. Trying to take my mind off these things didn't work.
During the seventh mile, I began to write this blog post in my head. I reminded myself of all of the reasons that I want to make blogging a priority again. I thought about blogs that I (used to) read that inspired me. I remembered how I want to have an influence for good on the world and that I have this forum to use for that purpose. (This was a more effective way of forgetting my pain, by the way.)
During the last mile, it was all self-talk and gunning for the finish line. I did not want to think about 13.1. Eight miles felt like plenty.
I arrived home 1 hour 45 minutes later (yes, I am that slow) feeling sore, stiff, and like I had conquered the world. I had done something that I didn't want to do. I had done something that was hard. I had done something that I had never done before. I had done something that was good for my body and mind and spirit when what had been far more enticing was staying home and nibbling chocolate chips. I felt wonderful. I knew I will do it again, and that one day in April, I will run 13.1.
I love running.