A runner. Not someone I define myself as. "It's not my thing." I often hear, oh how those words ring through my ears, and I think... "do I look like a runner, does it look like my thing?"
But here I am only 4 days out from the Prairie Fire Wichita Half Marathon, and I am excited. Slowly, I am making myself a runner. While on my 11 mile run Sunday night, I had time to ponder my running journey a bit, and I wanted to document some things that I remember... milestones if you will.
First I thought back to the start of running. It happened late on a Wednesday evening at the Y. I got on the treadmill only with intentions of walking, but I had read about Couch to 5K, and decided I would give it a small chance. I mean, there were only about 5 people left in the building, so falling off the treadmill would lead to minimal embarrassment. The process was to run 30 seconds, then walk a couple of minutes to recover. I nearly died. It was awful. 30 seconds NEVER lasted so long, but my personal trainer came over to tell me that she noticed that I had started running. I decided to keep trying.
Fast forward a few weeks...
I continued to putter through 30 seconds, a minute, a lap, a mile, until I started to feel confident about the fact that I could at least put one foot in front of the other without humiliating myself. Then one day out of pure frustration, I did this (it's the 3rd part of the post).
That lead to races. Some failures while others lead to pure joy.
And now the biggest hill of them all.
I have trained hard for this. Putting in sweat and tears (no blood to date, although I almost bit it hard in the dark the other night. There would have been blood.), and lots of miles.
I am so appreciative of those who have supported this goal. Brian and the boys have always allowed me to take the time I need to accomplish my goals. I come home from long runs to bathed babies and a clean house. I pray that everyone could have such a supportive partner.
My sister has literally driven next to me at top speeds of 6 mph to make sure cars see me. She turns up the radio loud, and carries on one-sided conversations to help me blur out the pain, and finish.
My brother-in-law, Chris, picks up late in the evening, in the COLD, to run my last 2 miles with me because it's dark, I'm tired, and it's not safe to go it alone.
The W-O's will watch my kiddos for hours so that I can get my run in for the day. I am so blessed to have so many loving friends and family in my life, who care about this with me.
On Sunday, I will set out. I have done what I can. I have run 131 miles training for this. I have bought new shoes and socks to prevent foot injuries (I still have 10 toenails... It's a miracle!) I have added hours worth of new music to my IPOD, and it's time... to set one foot in front of the next, to the finish of this journey, and to press on to the next.