Me? A runner?
I want to share something with you. I’m not telling everyone because that would be way too much pressure. I’m only telling a few people, ok? So, don’t go broadcasting it all over the place.
I signed up for a race. A ten-mile run.
When I registered in May, I hadn’t run a mile in many, many years. I couldn’t even recall the last time I’d run a mile. I especially felt sick to my stomach when I was prompted to check the box to indicate my understanding of the following statement:
But here’s why I signed up:
1. I have been working with a trainer for a couple of years and I was buoyed by my progress with boxing and in general fitness-y terms.
2. I was feeling inspired (and tipsy) in Napa Valley when we were there for my 30th birthday and I said OUT LOUD that I wanted to run a race this year.
3. My dad asked if my sisters and I would run the Army 10 Miler with him in honor of his 60th birthday. I happened to be in DC during the Army 10 Miler two years ago and I watched my dad and sisters run it. It was amazing and emotional and as an army brat, I can’t imagine a run more meaningful.
4. There were back-up plans in case it all went pear-shaped. A) My trainer said I could probably walk the whole thing in the designated time if I needed to. B) My dad said we’d fake injuries if we couldn’t make it.
5. I just had this inexplicable desire to do it.
Registration sold out in 48 hours. I made an awesome playlist. I printed and laminated the course map so I can look at it as I run on the treadmill. I invested in special socks and proper running shoes. I spend a great deal of time researching running tips (recent searches: “how to run faster and longer” and “why don’t I get that endorphin rush everyone talks about” and also “so much sweat and bright red face HELP”). I used an Amazon gift card–originally earmarked for nail polish–to buy motivational books. And unlike most of my other exercise attempts, I actually put all these things to use.
Pretty much every day since I registered, I’ve thought about the race. I could have done more these past months. I should have started training earlier. I regret that because I didn’t realize just how much I would struggle. I was also in denial for a good portion of the summer. But I have been working harder than I ever have and while I haven’t run ten miles, I’ve run further than ever before. I am determined not to belittle that.
Of course, I am realistic too. Especially now that when I look at the calendar, I can see the date of the run. It’s no longer a page or three away. It is just around the corner. There are going to be lots and lots of people there. I will have to walk at times, maybe even for most of the course. I might come in last. My goal is to complete it, to cross the finish line. And that’s enough for me.
Everyone says it’s all about attitude. You have to believe it to achieve it. You have to stop second-guessing yourself and just do it.
So, I’m starting now.
Yes. Me. A runner.