Originally posted June 2012 on LDSFitnessNetwork.com.
“Let us run with patience the race before us”
When I run into people that haven’t seen me in a couple of years, I generally get a couple of reactions. One, shock. And, two astonishment. Especially when they find out how much I run and that I am preparing to run a marathon in July. They also tell me to the effect, “Oh, I could never do that! You are an awesome runner!”
But, am I? Couldn’t they run as much as I do?
See, when I ran my first 5K in September of 2010, I was nervous. Maybe a tad scared? Okay, I was scared. I had prepared for this race for the past eight weeks. I had so many questions and doubts running through my head. Was I going to be too slow? Was I going to get lost on the course? Are there bathrooms on the course? Was I going to be dead last? Was I going to dead last because I died?
Was I simply going to finish?!
These are very valid questions for first time runners.
I now laugh about that experience. I didn’t die. I didn’t get lost. Heck, I didn’t even come in dead last (thanks to the Stroller Mom’s who walked the course). I finished where I thought I would … around 45 minutes. Not, the fastest, but not the slowest either.
A year prior I wouldn’t have even dreamed of attempting such a run. At over 400lbs. the only way I’d consider doing a 5K was if I had my own jazzy to ride. At 400lbs. running was still that punishment I got in gym class every other day in High School. Why would I want to run?
But, there was a turning point for me with running. I stopped noticing just the racers who finished first and focused on the “other” runners. The one’s who weren’t there to just win, but to just run … because they loved doing it. These were the one’s that generally push up the rear, garnered the loudest cheers from the crowd and always ended their race with a smile.
I wanted to be that runner.
When I started running I ever intended to start training for marathon. A 5K seemed like a good enough goal for me. I wanted the satisfaction to know that I could do it. Anyone who starts running with this mentality knows that a 5K will never be enough. Once you’ve proved you can run a 5K, a 10K is next followed by a half marathon and then of course the marathon. It’s really a viscous cycle. But, I’ve followed this path and now nearly two years later here I am preparing to run a full marathon next year.
How did I get here?
Simply stated, it’s been “step by step”
But, there are lessons in the process that can’t be learned unless you simply do it. How are you going to know that you can do something without even trying. Daring to try is often the biggest obstacle, harder than those 20 mile training runs. It’s almost as though the fear of failure is greater than the desire?!
I’ve learned through the eagerness to progress in my running that with a little faith and patience in the training process I will get where I want to go. If I take it step by step and have faith that my next step will take me where I want to go, I’ll get there.
So, you see, there really is no earth shattering secret to how I’ve gotten here. I’m not different than anyone else. But, I am different than my old self. I am no longer than one standing on the side lines watching other runners run the race. I am that runner that runs for the love it, has that smile on their face after the run and win’s everytime because I dared to start.
There’s a race before us all.
So let’s run.