I hate running. I can’t say I Always have because I remember a time in 2nd or 3rd grade when I thought I was super fast (didn’t we all?) and it actually was fun. One day I remember getting really winded when racing a friend at school, and shortly afterwards being diagnosed with asthma. It wasn’t severe at all, and pretty much exercise induced or seasonal. To this day it is very, very rare that I need a puff. So I don’t know if it was that or puberty, but I grew to really hate running.
Basketball was my first love, I used to stay outside for hours practicing and shooting free throws in the dark imagining a career in it someday (this was Pre WBNA). Running is a big part of the game, but I hated it! I also am unbelievably slow. I look at my body and think “you look like you should be fast” but when I run I look like quick sand in motion. Pretty sure I can speed walk faster than I can run but I’ve been too afraid to actually find out the truth.
I’ve run a lot of 5 Ks because all the festivities (and tutus) make it more enjoyable for me. I also run when I want results because I used to notice the most physical improvements when I was running. However I avoided long distance runs like the plaque. Why would anybody sign up for that willingly?
In 2012 my friend challenged me to train for a Half Marathon with her. I was getting married at the end of the year, and anyone who has hung around this space long enough knows I’m a challenge addict. We took it seriously and met up weekly for a long run in addition to the runs I was doing on my own during the week. We got up to doing 12 mile runs on the weekend. 12 miles folks! I still can’t believe we did that.
Even with all the training I never learned to love to run or get that elusive runner’s high. I LOVE the feeling of accomplishment when I finish runs because I prove to myself every time that my mind is stronger than my body.
My goal was just to finish the Half without stopping. We already covered that I’m super slow so time wasn’t an issue.
There was a one mile stretch towards the end of the race that was really difficult. I wanted to walk SO bad! All of the training and hard work were flashing through my head, and I had to combat the temptations to give up minute by minute. When I finally came to the last mile and began to see the finish line, that was the hardest yet sweetest mile ever.
I was so proud of myself and my friends that finished this race. We fought hard and it felt soo good to accomplish something I never thought I could! I can’t say that I will ever do a full marathon or even another half (although never say never right?), but I know I have it in me to do the impossible when I put my mind to it. When I doubt this fact I can look back to that last mile and crossing that finish line:). What was your best mile ever?
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