Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
It’s a good thing that I rocked my last 5K so hard, because it looks like I won’t be running any more for a while. This girl’s got her eyes on a new prize… DISTANCE!
A few weeks ago I decided that I was ready to brave more than 3.1 and so I added my first 10K to my summer bucket list. I was happy with my line up and decided that was it- I would hold strong and say no to any more race suggestions. It turns out- I’m terrible when it comes to peer pressure. So when some friends asked me to enter the lottery for the historic Falmouth Road Race I totally caved. With my fear of missing out on anything– and the fact that getting a number is nearly impossible– I said “Sure, why not?”. I was banking on not getting in (training for a 7 mile race that is taking place 3 weeks after the Tri didn’t seem too logical) so I quickly typed in my credit card information, hit “submit” and didn’t think twice about it.
Until I saw an email in my inbox with the subject: SELECTED IN 2013 LOTTERY.
UH- EXCUSE ME?
That’s right- this bad ass has a number in THE Falmouth Road Race. Unfortunately my friends did NOT get in so it looks like I will be running it alone which semi freaks me out– but we’ll deal with that later. At first I was almost mad that I got chosen (My poor debit card certainly groaned at another $50 race registration fee). But then I started reading up on it. And the more I read, the more excited I got. Goosebumps actually. It’s a pretty big deal for a newbie like me: buses to the start, runner tracking, a scenic (IE- HILLY) course, and of course –another sweet finisher medal to add to my growing collection. People cross their fingers for a number in this thing and the girl who left the 10K results space blank- got in. Call it luck, call it random, call it meant to be -but I feel like there’s a reason out there as to why I got selected.
With this new addition to my calendar (I’m up to 8 now for the summer), it was time to get moving. In the 13 months of running I’ve never done more than three and a half miles. Obviously there was a point in my life where I physically COULDN’T, but even in the last few months it’s not like I’ve actually tried to push myself or anything. I finally decided to just suck it up and see what I could do.
I woke up early on a Sunday morning to a unseasonably humid and rainy day which didn’t really bother me, for any runner knows that running in the rain is the best. I stood at the end of my driveway and gave myself a little pep talk: “Listen lady…don’t let those feet stop until you reach 4. Ready… Go!”. And with that I took off. I moved slower than normal, trying to conserve my energy in case I was dying at the end– but I made it. I’m glad it was so early in the morning because I’m sure I was quite the sweaty, soaking wet fool doing a victory dance in front of my house and grinning like an idiot. There it was again- that sense of pride, accomplishment- the feeling of realizing that you can actually do something when you put your mind to it. That’s the feeling that gets me up at 7am on a Sunday morning. It’s the feeling that’s gotten me this far in my journey. It’s what helps me write this blog. And it’s what gets me back on track when I start to doubt myself.
I’m happy to report that I haven’t stopped there. I have an incredibly awesome running group and with their support I’ve been creeping up the mileage ladder.. 4.8 miles, 5 miles, and (fingers crossed) this week will be 6. Every time I push myself by thinking “THIS step is the furthest you’ve ever run! THIS step is the furthest you’ve ever run!” It sounds crazy- but it works. I’m starting to understand how people can do the whole distance thing. For the first time since I started running- I’m finding my groove and moving along. What used to be “I STILL HAVE ANOTHER MILE?” is turning into “What’s one more?”. The fact that I now have “long run days” is incredibly exciting and I’m drooling for more. I want compression socks! I want a Garmin! I want gels and all those crazy energy things! (OK maybe this is the compulsive shopper in me talking- we all know how much I love to buy new running accessories!)
The point is that I get it– it’s all making sense. For so long I wanted to be a runner. I know now that I have the heart of a runner. I have the motivation of a runner. The drive of a runner. Now I’m just waiting for the day when I have the true endurance of a runner.