Running. How it has taught me so many lessons in life. Saturday, I followed through with the goal I set for myself – to run a hilly 10k (6.2miles) race. A race 2 years ago, I was intimidated but longed to complete one day. I knew I would be last. I am a slow runner. Scratch that, I am a runner. Moms with strollers passed me, walkers passed me. But this was my race, my pace. I ran the entire time up and down the rolling hills of McVey. And, get this, I enjoyed the time by myself. And I was by myself. I couldn’t see anyone in front of me – they were long gone. But there was no pressure. No app telling me my pace. Yes, I was second to last. I even had a bicyclist escort leading the way since I was so far behind from the pack. Volunteers at each checkpoint were gracious enough to wait for me to pass before packing up and driving back to the finish line. I really didn’t struggle to finish. I wasn’t tempted to walk. I kept my pace, moved a bit faster up the hills and let my pace carry me down them. Hills really didn’t scare me after mile 2. Good thing! It became a constant in my run and I embraced them….except for the last hill before the finish line. That was tough!
Thoughts of Sarah struggling up the hills on her bike but pushing through, kept me going. Tears flowed during my race when I thought of my friend, Rosy, who suffers from lupus, was running a half marathon while I was running a 10k. She was conquering 13.1 miles knowing she would be in so much pain. My friend, Melissa, who tried and tried to train for this 10k, but due to hip issues, she wasn’t able to do it. I knew she was pushing for me and waiting at the finish line. My Healthy U family, who has forever changed my life, believed in me – they too were waiting for me to cross the finish line even when they were done a half hour before me.
Mile 6 came and then the biggest hill of them all came into view. Overcomer started to blare in my ears, and I saw a friend running down the hill towards me. She came back to meet me, not knowing where I was, to help me finish. Gods timing is amazing and she met me at the hardest time of my run. I had not walked the 6 miles, and I wasn’t about to walk the last 0.2. With her encouragement, I made it and sprinted with all my might past my family and friends waiting at the finish line. I made it with cheers, sweaty hugs, and high fives greeting me. My goal? Run the 10k in less than 90minutes. I ran it in 1hr and 24 minutes. Me. A girl who forged my parents name to get out of running a mile in gym in junior high. Me. A girl who couldn’t run 30 seconds on the treadmill 2 years ago. Me. Who struggled to catch my breath and couldn’t run a 5k without walking half of it (even without hills) in March 2013. 90 lbs later, I can run a 10k in less than 90 mins. Will that win medals? No. Will I ever break records? No. Will I ever be fast enough to not be last? Probably not. But running is not about that. Its about your pace, your journey, strengthening yourself from within, and most of all – it’s about trampling on depression.
I pay money to get up early and run on a Saturday morning, to maybe get a t-shirt and a banana. But like MasterCard says – the rewards are priceless.
Go girl half marathon in September. A dream come true. Most dreams don’t just happen, I have realized you work hard, rely on God’s strength, and you can make them happen.
Running. Where I have the best times with God and myself.
Much love, friends. Wake up and write your story. Yours is beautiful!
***my 1st 5k was 2013. Not 2015!