Wednesday, April 17, 2013
It's no secret that running and I are not friends. I do it because I *can* (a fact that I continually have to prove to myself again and again each time I do it). I have never once had a run day where I was actually excited about going running. Generally, the self talk goes something like this: "ugh, I've gotta run today. I can do this. I've done it before and it's only a half hour out of my day. Plus, that half hour will add significant time onto my lifespan. I am strong, I am capable of so much more than I know. Don't make excuses, just do it." And so on, and so forth.
Today, my self- talk went something like this: "There are people who went to cheer on the runners at a marathon on Monday who may never walk again. You don't get to complain that you're tired or that you don't want to do this. Suck it up and get going."
Today, I ran for Boston. I have never considered running a marathon. Frankly, it sounds like pure hell. But as I've listened to runners explaining what that last quarter mile feels like- with crowds roaring, urging the runners on, encouraging them to find the strength to dig deep when they feel like they have nothing left, I realized that a marathon is about so much more than the running. It's about the community forged through participation of the most democratic sport on the planet.
On Monday, in the wake of tragedy, I fell in love with running- for all that it symbolizes. Mind you, I still don't *like* it, but now it holds an entirely new meaning for me.
Today, I ran my fastest 5k ever. 40.41 (with an average pace of 13.07. I actually ran one mile at 5.2(11:32 pace), 1 mile at 5.0 (12:00 pace) and then varied the last mile with speeds between 3.3 and 5.5, but much of it was walked). I'm really encouraged, because i beat my previous personal best by a minute and 20 seconds. i've shaved 3 minutes off my best timed 5k race time, and almost 4 minutes off my first 5k time. i'm extremely happy with my progress. I'm so close to breaking the 40 minute barrier. And since I walked about 1/3 of it, I should be able to break that barrier as soon as I build my stamina a little bit more. It's very exciting.