Did you know that I just started running in 2011? Three years. Three years ago I had never run a race. Well, at least not in my adult life.
I ran track in junior high. I attempted to run track in junior high. I was horrible at all of it. Since then, I have run several 5Ks and three half marathons. Some successfully and some not so much, but I committed to running them, trained for them, showed up on race day, and completed the races. Here are some things I noted when I first started running:
1. People do their laundry at night, so I get to smell lavender and spring as I jog. (This is still one of my favorite things about running.)
2. You only notice the wind when you’re running against it. (When I wrote that on my other blog three years ago, I was thinking about how much harder it is to run against the wind. Now, I notice the difference in the wind because it is unbearably hot when I’m running with the wind, but there’s a nice breeze when I have to run against it. Weird, how my thinking has changed.)
3. The street lights remind me of being a kid. The whole, be home when the street lights come on thing. Having fun with my friends, no worries, and not realizing how lucky I was to not have responsibilities. (I feel this when I run. I don’t have 500 things pulling at me. No immediate needs to meet. Just me, the road, and God.)
I love how God gave me little gifts to keep me running when I first started. He knew I would never stay with it if it was constantly hard. Don’t get me wrong. It was hard…It still is, but it’s the little things like getting to watch the sun go down or the amazing friendship with Janae that running started or running under the clearest sky with the brightest stars you could imagine.
Lately I have been struggling mentally with the defeat I felt after my last half. I don’t want to feel that way after the one we are running in October. My plan was to train HARD. Run faster, higher mileage per week, more runs per week. All okay things, but I have been doing them for the wrong reasons. These races shouldn’t be about being faster. Faster than my last race I mean because I’ll never be faster than most people. But being faster than my previous, younger self isn’t a good goal either. Nothing like setting myself up for failure. It made me think of this post I made right after my first 5K.
(referring to my time) “I don’t really know if that is good or bad, but I don’t really care. I had so much fun and I don’t want to obsess over my time. My friend, Erin, asked me what I want to do now. Am I going to work on running faster or farther? Neither. I plan on continuing to love running 3 miles a day however fast God leads me to run that day. Because running to me is about spending time with God, not about being the best or the fastest.”
Obviously I have started running farther, but I enjoy that. I feel like God is telling me to stop worrying so much about my time. Just enjoy the race. To me, that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t train hard, but that being faster shouldn’t be what it’s all about to me.
Today I am going back to the basics and committing to simply enjoy running again. I want to run across that finish line with Janae by my side and just feel accomplished for having done something amazing because, lets face it, 13.1 miles is a long ways!