On January 1st of this year I took a giant leap of faith and signed myself up for the Airforce Half Marathon in September. I’m not sure what lead me to this somewhat insane decision, but my registration has been paid in full and there’s no turning back. I’m legit (at least on paper).
I’ve been a little depressed over the last few years at how my fitness level has slipped, especially post-Fiona. Most of it can’t be helped being a new mom and learning the ins and outs of what your post wobbly belly won’t let you do. My labor was pretty rough and long. It was enough to make me feel like my innards wanted to constantly spill out for the next year (or two). Fortunately, time and persistent rehab has really helped heal most of everything that’s been out of place. I’m really thankful that I now have the chance to run a half marathon. That it’s actually an option to run something of this length. That I can run at all! Nevermind that it’s been 20 years since I last laced up running shoes and felt the burn of my lungs gulping in air. It doesn’t matter that it’s been that long or longer since I ran with purpose.
So what’s my point in wanting to run such an intense race?
To prove to myself that I can. I used to run the 1600 meter aka the Mile. I was “ok”, but I wasn’t too into the whole track scene. There was one meet back in Jr. High where I quit the 1600 half way thru. I quit because I hated that I wasn’t good enough to run as fast as the other runners. I quit because I was angry that I couldn’t do it. I had no willpower to finish it out. I well and truly hated running. Some of it was probably “teenage angst” and then part of it was the overly intense track coach who tended towards yelling and cursing at the team. But really, the blame, in the end lay strictly on my own bony shoulders. I’ve never forgotten that race. I felt so pathetic and low. I should’ve finished for ME, not for the coaches or even my family. It’s hard to know those kinds of things when you’re barely 14.
By completing a half marathon I’m proving to myself that I have the grit to finish. That despite the mentally and physically tough birth of my daughter that I can absolutely still do something like this. I’ll be vindicating my past with a victory. I’ll have smashed 1600 meters out the window with 13.1 miles of determination and sheer stubborness to put one foot in front of the other.
So Sunday I went and got fitted for my first running shoes in a very long time.
I took them out for their first training run today and it sucked. It was so windy and I felt jiggly and weird, but I ran and walked 2 miles. And I’ll be doing it again on Wednesday and then Friday and in 6 months I’ll still be doing it all the way across an official finish line.
And knowing that feels damn fine.