Yesterday, I ran 9.15 miles. Why? Because the Gate River Run, in Jacksonville, Fl, a 15k (the largest 15k in America) is this Saturday and my friend, and fellow blogger Jasmine, who is also running in it, convinced me I should do it.
I wasn’t planning on running it this year because I haven’t been training. Let me set my current life situation:
I’m in the middle of moving this week, school has been completely hectic and I haven’t managed to find the time to really fit in my long runs like I’ve been doing for the past two years. So, I’ve managed to fit little workouts here and there, but not any endurance workouts which are a major staple in my training regime for long distance runs.
I figured this year, I wouldn’t be able to successfully complete the run. However, I spoke to Jasmine and she encouraged me to do it. She told me not to be so hard on myself and to go out there and enjoy it. Naturally, I am a competitive person and I like to challenge myself to new heights. I knew that if I did the run this year I wouldn’t beat my time from last year because I haven’t been training. Consequently, I didn’t feel like it would even be worth it. I felt like, “why should I even try?” After getting off the phone with Jasmine, and going over her words of encouragement (especially after she told me she still planned on running even though she too had been busy and hadn’t trained) I wondered, what if, I could still run it? What if I could still run that 15k (9.3 miles) without stopping? I don’t have to be fast, but I could run a nice easy pace. I’d be fulfilling my new year’s resolution of completing it this year, surprising myself and I’d be pretty freaking awesome.
Me, after my run. I felt so good and, even better, accomplished.
So, I did it. I put my hair up. I put my running gear on. I stretched. I put my headphones in my ears, turned the music onto iTunes Radio Top Dance station and I ran the streets of Jacksonville, literally. It was amazing. I was waving at other runners, had a smile on my face and all I could think was; “If I complete this 9 mile run, even though I haven’t ran 9 miles in 4-5 months and I haven’t trained nor ran 6 miles in the last couple of months, I’m totally signing up for the race and I’m totally boasting about.” It’s one of the thoughts that fueled my run, and I knew that I would be too awesome after that. Actually, going out there and running automatically made me awesome. Fact.
Running, and exercising in general, releases good vibes, and I’m just absolutely elated that I know I can complete the race. As for my time, it wasn’t the best but I expected that and I’m not ashamed nor embarrassed at all. I’m still awesome! I ran a slow and steady pace. A solid 11 minutes per mile (I’m normally between 9 and 10) AND I didn’t stop. Can I get what what?
Me, after my run. I felt so good and even better, accomplished.
I feel like for not running that kind of distance in a while that makes me a rockstar, and you can best believe I had my bud light afterwards, even though I pretty much laid out on my apartment floor once I arrived home. My legs were extremely sore. Unfortunately, the pain that I avoided during mile 5 and 6, when my legs were screaming “You crazy lady! You haven’t ran this far in months! What are you doing!!!,” resurfaced. But that was a good pain, and a good burning of the legs.
Running can be so exhilarating at times, I take that back, all the time, and I’m glad that I listened to my friend and went out there to run last night. I was motivated and I found the courage to face my fear of not being able to complete a run because of my lack of training. It’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it. Cheesy, but absolutely true. It’s also amazing what you can push your body to do, and where your legs and feet can take you. I’d never thought that my lower half of my body would take me on trails and paths, I’ve never seen before — but they can and the do.
This Saturday, I am so ready for the Gate River Run. I can’t wait to see all the rockstars out there getting it, running and just having a great time. I plan on not stopping, having fun, running with friends and drinking beer afterwards. I can’t wait.