A week ago, the run nearly broke me. On the rolling hills surrounding my office, I ran & hurt & finally stopped on the final run. I couldn’t do anymore. I texted Doug & my friend Sarah that maybe I just wasn’t a runner. I’ve never ran more than a mile straight even at my most fit, so what the hell was I thinking when I signed up for a triathlon?
That day, I shoved my running shoes in the backseat of my car & didn’t look at them for a week. They say not to quit on a bad day & I wasn’t going to quit, but I needed space. I read this over & over again. (ruthanne, thank you for inspiring me!)
Then last night I shrugged off my sweater & laced up my running sneakers. I stuck earbuds in under my fleece headband & took a puff on my inhalor. It was dusk when I set out through the neighborhood. I like that it’s staying light longer. The run felt easy & natural. My back felt straight, my breathing even all the way to my diaphram.
On the last two stretches of runs, I faced hills. A part of me almost threw up in fear & I know that sounds dramatic, because it is & it’s not all at the same time. I told myself to just go. To put one foot in front of the other & it didn’t matter how slow it was or how awful it felt, I would just keep going until it was over. I ran up both hills.
It was ugly. It was slow. I made faces like Sloth from Goonies. There were times where I grunted out KEEP GOING, GET UP THERE, DO NOT QUIT & I sincerely hope nobody was behind me the entire time hearing me.
When I finished, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I ran into the house & practically threw my phone at Doug because my Nike+ app told me that it was my fastest pace yet. My fastest time, even with those damned hills.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be good at running, if I’ll ever have a pace under a 10 minute mile. But I do know that I am going to cross that finish line in May.
Let’s do these hard things that we’re afraid of.
p.s. holy hell, I’m really doing this.