Today I ran 13.1 miles.
I finished somewhere between 2:38 and 2:40, which is not awful, but I wish I had been able to eke out a 12:00 mile.
But the point is, I did it. I ran a half marathon.
And I’d like to give public credit where credit is due.
We need to back up to 2011. It doesn’t feel like a long time ago, but it kind of was. I had started to spend more time on Tumblr and somehow discovered some blogs I’d never seen before. I don’t remember how, but I do remember that one of the first was ohmuffins.
I remember she taught middle school like I did at the time, and I just admired her love for her students and her sass. I also loved that she’d post pictures of Donald Glover and cute dresses she coveted. But those pictures weren’t what helped changed my life. It was her.
As she began showing up on my dash more I saw these posts where she talked about GO FAR and running and I watched as she went from not being able to run to running her own half marathon. And that was life-changing.
She wasn’t some robotic-seeming fitness guru whose life revolved around talking about how DELICIOUS those chickpea chocolate chip “cookies” taste [Tip: they are not delicious and they do not taste like cookies]. Instead she was a very real person, a real teacher, and a real runner. To watch her - the struggles and the joys, the injuries and the long runs - gave me hope that I could do it too.
And so I did. I began to run in October of 2011 [I couldn’t run a quarter of a mile then] and I kept running and I actually ran in some races. Then I stopped running and got a little “fluffy” again and had to start over in December. But this time I didn’t stop.
This race was a joy to run, not because I felt awesome the whole way [uh, no] or because I smashed my goal [also no], but because I knew the whole time that there was no question that I could or would finish it.
I ran 13.1 miles today. But before that I ran 121 miles. I ran 121 lonely, difficult, sweaty miles in training. And so when it came time to run those 13.1, I knew I could do it.
Today I thought of ohmuffins as I ran. I thought of christinamused and her training for her full marathon. I thought of Brenna running the NYC marathon. And their examples gave me motivation to keep going. After all, who wouldn’t want to be in a list with those ladies?
If you’re contemplating picking up running, do it. If you’re contemplating making a change in your lifestyle, do it. If you’re contemplating trying to run a race further than you’ve ever run before - whether that’s a half-marathon, a 10K, a 5K, or even a 1-mile fun run - do it.
If I can do it, you can too.
Tomorrow is my half.
I have to wake up at 4:30 so I can get gone by 4:45 so I can get there by 6:30 so I can be ready to race at 7.
Did I mention that I already had to drive the 2 hours there and back tonight because I misunderstood about packet pickup?
And that I haven’t been able to run except for Tuesday of this week?
And that before I get to bed tonight I have to clean out the office so my new roommate can move in tomorrow - something I couldn’t do this afternoon because I was driving there and back?
Lord, beer me strength.